DOMESTIC VIOLENCE A HIDDEN EPIDEMIC Violence a Hidden Epidemic

Article excerpt

Byline: Melissa Grant melissa.grant@dailymercury.com.au

MACKAY police are dealing with an average of four incidences of domestic violence each day but are concerned many cases are flying under the radar.

From January 1 to November 1 this year, there have been 361 domestic violence breaches in Mackay, an average of more than one a day. Mackay police have also made 370 applications for protection orders during this period Co almost nine a week, while officers have made 489 referrals, a rate of 11 a week.

There have also been 91 private applications for protection orders.

However, Mackay district domestic violence liaison officer Sergeant Rowena Lacey said domestic violence was still under-

reported.

Shame, underestimating the seriousness of the crime or thinking nobody would believe them were among the reasons victims didn't report domestic violence to police.

Relationships Australia Mackay men and family relationships counsellor Mike Fry said victims often relied on others to report incidences of domestic violence.

"A lot of the time the person being assaulted doesn't have the capacity to do something themselves, so they're relying on the help of others," he said.

"If someone hears a major row going on they should call police."

Sgt Lacey said types of violence to fall under the Domestic Violence Act included wilful injury, wilful damage to property including pets, intimidation or harassment Co or threats to do any of these things. …

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