The State Government is urging people to seek assistance ahead of the upcoming Christmas and New Year period which is tragically characterised by a rise in family violence incidents.
Western Australia Police Force figures show a sharp rise in reported family violence incidents during the 2016-17 Christmas holiday period, when compared to the daily average.
The figures show:
- Last financial year, there were 65,134 family violence related tasks logged for police attendance. Each day, there was an average of 178 family violence related tasks. During the Christmas-New Year period, the daily average number of tasks increased by 26.8 per cent to 226;
- Last financial year, there were 51,445 reported family violence incidents investigated by police. Each day, there was an average of 141 reported family violence related incidents. During the Christmas-New Year period, the daily average increased by 24.2 per cent to 175;
- Last financial year, there were 22,604 police orders issued to protect victims. Each day, there was an average of 61 police orders issued. During the Christmas-New Year period, the daily average number issued increased by 35.6 per cent to 84; and
- Last financial year, there were almost 24,000 incidents recorded in which children were exposed to family violence. Each day, there were an average of 66 family violence incidents in which children were present. During the Christmas-New Year period, the daily average number of incidents increased by 22.7 per cent to 81.
The statistics have been released as part of the 16 Days in WA to Stop Violence Against Women campaign which aims to raise awareness about the issue.
The campaign is the McGowan Government's contribution to the United Nations' annual '16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence' campaign. It marks the 16 days between the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (also White Ribbon Day) on November 25 and Human Rights Day on December 10.
Comments attributed to Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk:
"It's tragic to learn the extent of family and domestic violence in our State. While we know reporting of incidents of family and domestic violence has increased in almost every jurisdiction in Australia - we also know that less than 20 per cent of women who experience violence from an intimate partner don't report it to police.
"We hope by raising awareness of this issue through the 16 Days in WA campaign that we'll see police reporting numbers go up. We need to redouble our efforts to provide good services to make sure people come forward.
"We need to change the conversation in our homes, communities and workplaces to end violence against women - 16 Days in WA to Stop Violence Against Women gives us the opportunity to do just that.
"Everyone has the right to live free from this violence."
Comments attributed to Police Minister Michelle Roberts:
"Christmas should be a time of love and not fear.
"It's a sad fact that police respond to a significant increase in the number of family and domestic violence incidents at this time of year.
"I urge people to be sensible with their alcohol intake and be mindful of those things that make Christmas - peace, goodwill and giving joy to those we love.
"The McGowan Government is committed to reducing the scourge of domestic violence, keeping victims safe and holding violent perpetrators accountable."
Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister's office - 6552 6600
Police Minister's office - 6552 6900