After a horrible couple of days hearing the tragic events that lead a mother and her three children to die in a car fire has obviously shaken and horrified the nation.
Unfortunately, Victoria Police still respond to a family violence related incidents every 7 minutes and yet it is still one of the most under-reported crimes. In the last 12months there have been over 90,000 family violence offences.
The law defines family violence as behaviour by a family member that creates fear and control over:
- Their partner
- Other family members
Behaviours may include:
- physical assault (eg. hitting, pushing, burning or choking, rough or neglectful care giving)
- sexual violence (eg. being forced to perform sexual acts)
- economic abuse (eg. withholding money, preventing a person from gaining employment, property damage, or dowry related abuse)
- psychological and/or verbal abuse (such as threats, repeated put downs, name calling, sexist, racist, ageist, ablest or homophobic abuse)
- causing a child to hear, see or be aware of violent acts (for example by hearing fights, seeing injuries or damage)
If you or a loved one believe to be experiencing family violence there are many avenues you can seek for help. Some helplines you can call are:
- National Domestic Violence Service: 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).
- Domestic Violence Helpline: 1800 800 098 – 24 hour line
- Safe steps: 1800 015 188
If you are in immediate danger call triple zero (000).