Domestic violence incidents have skyrocketed in Bundaberg in the past fortnight.
Domestic violence incidents have skyrocketed in Bundaberg in the past fortnight. Mike Knott BUNDOM

Domestic abuse incidents soar

DOMESTIC violence incidents have exploded in Bundaberg in the past fortnight, with police called out to 10 incidents on one day alone and the need for support services almost doubling.

Police attended at least 12 domestic situations over the weekend, with 10 of them happening on Saturday.

Bundaberg Police Senior Sergeant Erwin Hoffmann said 10 callouts relating to domestic violence in one day was high.

But he warned that the number of callouts could fluctuate significantly each day.

“A lot of our calls are domestic-violence related,” he said.

“We do attend a large number of domestic violence instances in our day-to-day duties.”

Edon Place Women’s Domestic Violence Service director Leah Giovannoni said in the past fortnight the need for their services had almost doubled.

She said that had included the need for emergency accommodation for those escaping abusive situations.

Ms Giovannoni said harsh economic times could contribute to an increase in domestic violence incidents, but she did not know what was behind the latest spike in numbers.

“Lack of income and the unemployment rates being high does contribute to it (high domestic violence rates),” she said.

But Ms Giovannoni said there was absolutely no excuse for family violence.

“The community really needs to be collaborative in their response to reduce these figures,” she said.

“It’s simply not acceptable.”

Between July 2009 and June 2010, Bundaberg Magistrates Court handed out 895 domestic violence orders – amounting to about 300 more than in Gladstone, and roughly the same as Hervey Bay and Maryborough combined.

The figures for 2010-11 are expected to be released later this year.

Snr Sgt Hoffmann said it was not predictable when there would be a spike in domestic violence incidents.

But he said there were sometimes some strong indicators.

“Usually around any of the festivities such as Christmas we might see an increase in the number of calls,” he said.

Snr Sgt Hoffmann said there was no excuse for aggression in the home, and police would continue to work with organisations such as Edon Place to reduce the instances of domestic violence.

He urged anyone who was experiencing violence at home to contact police immediately on 4153 9111, or 000 in an emergency.

Edon Place will also hold a workshop aimed at helping women rebuild their life after domestic violence.

For details, call the service on 4153 6820.



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