More than 3,700 family violence incidents from the Grampians region were reported to the police in 2015, which accounts for five-percent of the state’s total.
One woman each week is murdered by her partner, according to homicide statistics in Australia. While men do experience family violence, women are at least three times more likely than men to experience violence from an intimate partner according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Family violence includes violent or threatening behaviour, or any other form of behaviour that coerces or controls a family member or causes that family member to be fearful.
“Just because we live in an isolated area, does not mean we are isolated from these issues,” organiser of Stawell Church of Christ’s family violence information evening Terry Dunn.
To address family violence is the Grampians, Stawell Church of Christ is holding an information evening to examine the various aspects of family violence. They have held previous information evenings on other topics before.
“I don’t personally know much about family violence, but I know there would be people in the community who would be severely affected by it,” Mr Dunn said.
The aim of the information evening is to talk about family violence, so that people “don’t have to suffer in silence”.
Mr Dunn has organised someone from Victoria Police and Grampians Community Health to talk on the night.
“The focus of this presentation is on developing a shared understanding of family violence – the prevalence and impacts, the causes and drivers and how our community is responding through services and community-wide initiatives,” said a spokesperson from Grampians Community Health.
In the six months from July to December 2017, Grampians Community Health responded to 502 family violence incidents and have found that incidents since 2012 have increased.
“Our research suggests the true incidence of family violence is significantly higher than the figures reported to police, with most incidents going unreported,” the spokesperson said.
“Women living in rural and regional areas experience an increased risk of family violence and regularly experience barriers that make it more difficult to report violence or seek support.”
If you or someone you know is affected by family violence you can call Grampians Community Health on 5358 7400.
For anyone experiencing sexual assault or domestic and family violence, call 1800-RESPECT. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger you should always call 000 for urgent assistance.