Police to target family violence

The number of men being charged for breaching family violence orders has spiked in Ballarat amid a police crackdown on repeat offenders.

New Crime Statistics Agency data showed 918 offences were recorded for people ignoring orders in the last financial year, up 215 cases on the year before.

Those figures include repeat offenders being charged more than once.

In the 12 months to June, 2013, only 280 offences for breaching orders were recorded.

The offence has climbed year-on-year ever since.

But this increase does not necessarily reflect more crime in Ballarat.

Rather, it reflects the public's greater willingness to report family violence along with added police resources to tackle the problem, according to leading Ballarat officers.

Inspector Trevor Cornwill, who has taken up a posting in Ballarat after having worked in Melbourne, said his new city has a dedicated family violence team to assist victims.  

“There is a greater awareness of the harm that domestic violence causes in the community,” he said.

“The feedback we are receiving is that people are feeling more supported to report the violence to break the cycle.”

Family violence orders include measures to stop an offender from using force against a victim, who more often than not is a woman.

Police have the power to charge someone if they break the conditions of an order and the Crime Statistics Agency data shows officers have been doing this more often.

Inspector Cornwill said repeat offenders were closely monitored and any breaches were acted upon.

  • For help, call the Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 737 732.

There is a greater awareness of the harm that domestic violence causes ... people are feeling more supported to report the violence to break the cycle

Ballarat-based Inspector Trevor Cornwill