Family violence scourge of west

File photo.

By Alesha Capone

Police have attended 9141 family violence incidents in the west during a 12-month period, with Wyndham, Brimbank and Melton recording the highest numbers of offences.

Between July, 2017, and June last year, Victoria Police recorded 2742 family violence offences in Wyndham, 2565 in Brimbank, 2065 in Melton, 971 in Hobsons Bay and 798 in Maribyrnong.

By comparison, between July, 2016, and June, 2017, police recorded 8865 family violence incidents in the west, with 2717 in Wyndham, 2246 in Brimbank, 2104 in Melton, 1016 in Hobsons Bay and 782 in Maribyrnong.

Wyndham and Brimbank recorded the sixth and seventh highest numbers of family violence incidents in Victoria in the year to June last year, while Melton placed 10th on the list.

Between July, 2017, and June last year, Casey recorded the highest number of family violence incidents in the state with 4733 offences, followed by Greater Geelong with 3319, Whittlesea with 3057, Hume with 3040 and Frankston with 2718.

Detective Senior Sergeant Brad Lawrence, from the Westgate Family Violence Investigation Unit, said: “The rapidly growing population in the area of Wyndham certainly contributes significantly to the high recording of family violence incidents in the area.

“Local police have progressively specialised our response to family violence in recognition of the risk and complexity that these incidents pose.”

He said that across the state, reports of family violence had gradually increased over time.

“Sadly, though, we continue to see unacceptable numbers of women and children who are not safe in their own homes,” he said.

“We know that family violence takes many forms – it’s not just about physical violence.

“It includes coercive and controlling behaviour and demeaning comments … it does not discriminate and knows no boundaries.

“The use of technology is a significant contributor to controlling and stalking type behaviours associated with family violence – investigators maintain contemporary knowledge of social media and technology to ensure we keep ahead of the methods used by offenders.

“This is an ongoing challenge for police and the wider community – we are absolutely committed to reducing the prevalence of family violence and the significant harm perpetrators of these crimes cause to victims. We want everyone to be living free from violence.”

If you feel at risk of family violence or believe that someone you know is, seek help from police or a support service such as Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre (1800 015 188).