Family violence on the rise

By Alesha Capone

Wyndham’s fast-growing population is one of the reasons behind the municipality’s increasing rates of family violence, according to police.

Family violence crimes reported in the municipality have increased by more than 60 per cent across five years.

Within the 2018-19 financial year, Wyndham police recorded 842 family violence assaults.

In comparison, during the 2013-14 financial year, there were 515 family violence assaults recorded in Wyndham.

Wyndham’s Local Area Commander, Acting Inspector Brett Kahan, said family violence is a crime that affects all communities.

“The rapidly growing population in the area of Wyndham certainly contributes significantly to the high recording of family violence incidents in the area,” he said.

“The increase in family violence criminal incidents can also be partially attributed to the increasing confidence in seeking help from family violence services, and reporting to police.

“Victoria Police has come a long way in developing our responses to these crimes, raising community awareness and challenging attitudes supporting violence, providing safety to victims and referring them to support services so they get the assistance they need.

“Regardless, we are continuing to see unacceptable numbers of women and children who are not safe in their own homes.”

Acting Inspector Kahan said Wyndham police have progressively specialised their response to family violence “in recognition of the risk and complexity that these incidents pose”.

“We also have established an enhanced investigative approach to family violence with the establishment of Family Violence Investigation Units (FVIUs), which are made up of dedicated

detectives and intelligence practitioners,” he said.

“The FVIUs are made of intelligence practitioners and dedicated detectives who have three main functions; to investigate serious and complex investigations, manage high-risk, complex and cold cases and support general duties police and specialist units.”

If someone is in immediate danger call Triple Zero (000). For assistance, contact Women’s Health West on 9689 9588.