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Family violence support is available this festive season - reach out if you need help

Published: 18 December 2020

Cardinia Shire Council is reminding residents that help is available to anyone experiencing family violence over the festive season.

The festive season sees a spike in domestic violence. According to Respect Victoria there were 49 per cent more reports of family domestic violence incidents on Christmas Day and 27 per cent more reports on Boxing Day than the daily average in 2019. 

Cardinia Shire Council Mayor Councillor Brett Owen said home and family life might be more stressful at the moment, but no one deserves to live in fear of violence or abuse from those closest to them.   

“Family violence is never okay. Times of stress and hardship are never an excuse for violence, and no one deserves to live in fear.   

“Over the Christmas period, triggers such as stretched family budgets, increased alcohol use and spending more time together can increase the rate of family violence. These triggers do not cause family violence and are never an excuse for abusive behaviour,” Cr Owen said. 

On average one woman a week in Australia is killed by an intimate partner. Locally, 1,303 incidents per 100,000 population were reported to police between June 2019-20, which is an almost 11 per cent increase when compared to the previous year. 

Cr Owen said preventing family violence is an important priority for Council. 

“We are committed to preventing family violence through raising awareness and working with the community and service providers to implement prevention strategies,” Cr Owen said. 

Council works with the community and its leaders, Victoria Police and University of Melbourne on the Together We Can initiative to stop, prevent and end family violence in Cardinia Shire. 

Council is also a key partner in delivering ‘Preventing Violence Together – A Strategy for the Southern Metropolitan Region’, alongside Women’s Health in the South-East (WHISE), community and women’s health services, primary care partnerships, key health organisations, and neighbouring local governments. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence, help is available. If you believe someone is in immediate danger call Triple Zero (000) and ask for the police. Otherwise, contact 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or 1800respect.org.au to seek confidential advice and support. 

If you are concerned that your behaviour might be harming your family members, call MensLine Australia on 1300 78 99 78 or visit www.mensline.org.au for more information.

Together We Can rubbish truck