Family and domestic violence reports expected to spike in Geraldton this festive season

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
About 100 people marched through Geraldton's CBD in a stand against domestic violence.
Camera IconAbout 100 people marched through Geraldton's CBD in a stand against domestic violence. Credit: Michael Roberts/Geraldton Guardi/Geraldton Guardi

Almost 700 family and domestic violence offences were reported to police last summer, with authorities again bracing for an increase in offending as the festive season nears.

According to WA Police statistics, 423 family assaults were reported in December, January and February across the Mid West Gascoyne District.

There were also 96 reports of threatening behaviour and 164 breaches of family violence restraining orders over the summer.

Reporting of family and domestic violence incidences spiked in January, with police responding to 158 family assault callouts.

Mid West Gascoyne Region Supt Roger Beer said alcohol consumption often increased as the weather got warmer, contributing to a rise in violent behaviour.

“It’s certainly not uncommon for there to be an increase in violence generally over the summer months,” he said.

“Across the summer period we conduct Operation Heat Shield which targets a range of crimes that can be more prevalent in the warmer weather. That can be anti-social behaviour in popular beach locations and entertainment precincts, but also with an enhanced focus on family violence.”

He said police also worked with other agencies to prevent domestic and family violence by helping to resolve relationship problems and offer other support services.

Supt Beer encouraged people to speak up if they or someone they knew was in a dangerous relationship.

“Don’t hesitate to call police, we will attend as soon as we can and make the situation safe,” he said.

“What happens from there will depend on the circumstances, but our priority in every occasion is to make that situation safe so that no one gets hurt.”

The importance of reporting family and domestic violence has been the focus of the annual 16 Days in WA campaign, which ends on Friday.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

Sexual Assault Counselling Australia: 1800 211 028

WA Sexual Assault Resource Centre: 6458 1828 or 1800 199 888 (free call from landlines)

Lifeline: 13 11 14

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