Federation University Associate Professor Elisa Backer is preparing to present her research on family violence at an international tourism conference in Melbourne.
It will be the first time family violence is discussed in a tourism setting.
Associate Professor Backer is combining her research in tourism and current research on family violence for the presentation.
Family violence can go up as much as 40 per cent during major sporting events.Associate Professor Elisa Backer
She said statistics indicated family violence incidents increased during Christmas and the New Year period, and during major sporting events.
"Sadly family violence doesn't take a holiday. Whilst we think about family events like Christmas, New Year as a time of celebration they are actually a time of high risk when family violence incidents spike.
"Family violence can go up as much as 40 per cent during major sporting events."
A United Kingdom National Centre for Domestic Violence campaign highlighted the need to consider the issue of family violence during major events.
Associate Professor Backer will refer to the campaign's confronting poster in her presentation, showing an image of blood pouring from a woman's nose and smeared across her mouth reflecting the red cross on the English flag.
The words read: "If England gets beaten, so will she. Domestic violence increases 26 per cent when England play, 38 per cent if they lose."
Associate Professor Backer said while it was important to present family violence research in traditional settings like health and criminology, that alone would not prompt the changes needed.
"We need to get uncomfortable and push the topic in other areas like tourism to raise awareness," she said.
"It is important that tourism operators are aware of the problems, because it is only in being aware of the problems in major events that we can be mindful of the risks involved."
Nearly 2.1 million women and men have witnessed violence toward their mother by a partner, according to Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data.
Data shows intimate partner violence is a leading contributor to illness, disability and premature death for women aged 18-44.
"To me this presentation is a baby step to change. It is wonderful the conference organisers have embraced this challenging and confronting topic at an international tourism conference," Associate Professor Backer said.
"I think it is a really important step that the topic can be discussed in a new area. We do need to confront family violence, be aware of it, understand it does impact on major events and sporting events and we need to be looking at support mechanisms. We need to have a better understanding and encourage people to look at solutions."
Associate Professor Backer will give her presentation at the Travel and Tourism Research Association's International Conference on Wednesday 26 June in Melbourne.