White Ribbon Day highlights rise in domestic violence in Moreton Police District

Thousands of domestic violence reports are received by Moreton Police District police every year — and the number is rising rapidly.

Today is White Ribbon Day — a day to take a stand and say no to violence against women.

Police and local support agencies agree solving the growing problem is the community’s responsibility.

A total of 2288 domestic violence incidents were reported in the Moreton region in the six months from July 2014 to February 2015.

This is just 966 reports short of the number for the entire 2013-2014 financial year.

Both Redcliffe and Deception Bay police officers-in-charge said there had been an increase in domestic violence incidents this year.

Redcliffe police have received 259 domestic violence referrals and 383 applications so far this year.

In the same period last year, 225 referrals and 330 applications were lodged.

Moreton Distict statistics

Total domestic violence incidents

2012-2013: 2925

2013-2014: 3254

July 2014 to February 2015: 2288

Domestic violence breaches

2012-2013: 741

2013-2014: 865

July 2014 to February 2015: 721

Redcliffe statistics

January 1 2015 to November 24 2015:

259 domestic violence referrals

383 domestic violence applications

January 1 2014 to November 24 2014:

225 domestic violence referrals

330 domestic violence applications

Deception Bay officer-in-charge Terry Wyatt said he had noticed a change in domestic violence reports.

“It is not unusual for us to get domestic violence calls at 7am in the morning,” Senior Sargeant Wyatt said.

 

“We get calls all day and all night.”

Acting senior sergeant Firth said the same occurred in the Redcliffe district.

“When I first started as a police officer, domestic violence calls only came in on a Friday night through to Sunday,” acting Sen-Sgt Firth said.

“They were normally fuelled by alcohol. Now they happen at any time of the day.”

Acting Sen-Sgt Firth said the domestic violence rates in Redcliffe were now comparable to Caboolture.

The community has drawn a line in the sand and are more aware and have more confidence to report domestic violence,” he said.

But he said the high number of incidents also showed more people were reporting the crime.

Redcliffe Police domestic and family violence co-ordinator sergeant Zoe Rowling said it was great to the community’s level of confidence growing in reporting domestic violence.

Sgt Rowling works with project Partnership Response at Domestic Violence Occurrences, which launched at Redcliffe in August.

The project helps victims by providing a case worker, connections to support networks and other services.

Sgt Rowling said the project had made a big difference.

All three police officers urged those affected to make use of the many support agencies in the region.

SUPPORT SERVICES

Encircle, based in ­Redcliffe, is one of several support agencies for victims of domestic violence on the Peninsula.

Organisation chief executive Patrick Bulman is determined to put an end to domestic violence.

“Domestic violence is the scourge of society,” Mr Bulman said.

“We want people to stand up, speak out, be a voice of change and challenge the behaviour of perpetrators. It is a community issue and it requires a community solution.”

Encircle, located at Lamington Drive, offers a range of services for victims.

Mr Bulman said the State Government’s move to adopt the 140 recommendations in the Not Now Not Ever report was a very big step in the right direction.

The recommendations include introducing healthy relationship lessons into the school curriculum, more support for victims and programs to help the perpetrators.

“Women need help, but we equally need to deal with the perpetrators. They need to be held accountable for their actions,” Mr Bulman said.

He said the key was offering courses for perpetrators and teaching them the right behaviours.

Encircle family violence counsellor Dee Dornan said another area of concern was homelessness.

“There is a huge risk of homelessness with DV and that is why many women with children are scared to leave,” Ms Dornan said.

“There are now protocols in place that allow the victims to stay in their homes and the children in their schools while the perpetrator has to leave.”

Mr Bulman said the growing publicity and awareness would only help fight the issue.

 

Source: Quest News

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