While many people look forward to the festive season, for some it can be the most dangerous time of the year.
According to the latest figures from the Crime Statistics Agency, more than two thirds of all assaults reported last Christmas and New Year's Day were family-violence related.
The number of family violence assaults spiked by 40 per cent on these days.
It has led Victoria Police and organisations No to Violence and Safe and Equal to prompt people to look out for each other this festive season.
Victoria Police's Family Violence Command Assistant Commissioner, Lauren Callaway, said she knew there would be people in the community who would be "very worried" about what the holiday period could mean for them.
"They will be thinking about whether there will be violence, whether it will be safe to stay at home, whether there is any money to fund leaving, or whether they can put on a brave face again in front of family and friends," AC Callaway said.
"My message to everyone is Victoria Police is here to stop family violence. We don't go on holidays for a reason - we know it's a high-risk time of the year and we are here 24 hours a day to make you safe."
It comes after the latest crime statistics revealed the total number of family violence incidents increased by 12 per cent in Ballarat in the year ending September 2021, compared to the previous year.
The rate of incidents per 100,000 people was 2081, compared to the Victorian rate of 1385.
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No to Violence chief executive officer, Jacqui Watt, said police referrals to the Men's Referral Service typically spiked during the holiday season.
Last December the referrals were 20 per cent higher than any other month of the year.
She encouraged men who were concerned about their behaviour to seek help to keep their loved ones safe.
"It doesn't have to be like this and we can support you to change your behaviour. Everyone has the right to celebrate safely," Ms Watt said. "The festive season should never be used as an excuse for violence."
Safe and Equal chief executive officer, Tania Farha, said family violence services were typically swamped at this time of year due to increased demand for support.
The increase in family violence incidences during the Christmas and New Year period is staggering. Specialist family violence services are overwhelmed with calls for help during, what should be, a happy time of year- Tania Farha
"The increase in family violence incidences during the Christmas and New Year period is staggering. Specialist family violence services are overwhelmed with calls for help during, what should be, a happy time of year," Ms Farha said.
"As well as the Christmas lunch and unwrapping gifts, we're encouraging everyone to focus on what matters most: each other.
"We can all play our part in looking out for friends, family and neighbours this year by asking the simple question 'Are you safe at home?' It might just be the greatest gift of all."
Those concerned about their behaviour can contact the Men's Referral Service on 1300 766 491 for advice and counselling, or chat online at ntv.org.au.
If you or someone close to you is in immediate danger, dial Triple Zero. The Victorian Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre can be contacted 24-hours a day on 1800 015 188, as can 1800RESPECT.
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