It is vital that those who see or hear family violence report it, police say.
The Courier reported on Thursday that police were encouraging residents to speak out against violence through a groundbreaking campaign that encouraged resident not to leave violence hidden behind the closed doors. Ballarat Western Division Acting Senior Sergeant Ben Young said all police members were now trained to respond to increasing family incidences. Data showed an 8.4 per cent rise in Ballarat’s family violence rate and police have already upped their 2011 unit from two police to at least six.
“Police have a specialised unit dedicated to family violence response, however all members are trained to respond to family violence incidents with the assistance of the community agencies. Police continue to address the increase in reported family violence,” Acting Senior Sergeant Young said.
Acting Senior Sergeant Young said police were often called to family violence incidents where drugs and alcohol had been used, but said increased reportage of unacceptable behaviours increase the ability of police to quickly respond to incidents.
“(There is increased) awareness and understanding that family violence is a crime and it’s not acceptable at any time,” Acting Senior Sergeant Young said.
“It’s not just the victims but families of victims that need to be aware of unacceptable behaviours and support victims.
“The multi-agency response to family means victims and their families can be supported during their time of need, through court processes and ongoing support / welfare. This leads to confidence and support for victims in coming forward to report family violence.”
Police are trying to change generational differences and perceptions by promoting greater awareness.
“It is extremely important if the community see something or know family violence is happening it needs to be reported, the victims are not always in the position to report incidents due to fear,” Acting Senior Sergeant Young said.
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