Violence in our homes

TWO Gladstone district families are affected by domestic violence every day.

And that's just the official figure.

Figures tabled by Police Minister Judy Spence in parliament recently revealed Gladstone District police attended 725 confirmed domestic violence incidents during the past financial year.

They also attended a further 245 domestic violence calls that were not confirmed.

Louise Lodge Ozcare women's shelter coordinator Barbara Anderson said while the figures were disturbing, it didn't represent the full extent of the problem.

"The official statistics are just the tip of the iceberg,'' Ms Anderson said.

"What about those people who don't report it, they're not included in any figures.''

She said while legislation had increased the amount of incidents reported, the community could still do more to help.

"People in the community need to be made aware of how prevalent it (domestic violence) is,'' she said.

"People should know they have the right to call the police if they know it is happening.

"It doesn't matter if they're really nice when they're not fighting. The community should get involved.''

The price of domestic violence however isn't limited to physical and emotional distress.

Gladstone police were conservatively reported to have spent 2153 hours during the past financial year attending to domestic violence calls.

Ms Spence said the figures only showed the time spent addressing the initial call for service.

"Police can also spend time making further inquiries, obtaining statements from witnesses, locating and interviewing respondents who were not present at the initial incident, locating and serving summons, orders and notices to respondents and others, preparing briefs of evidence on behalf of the aggrieved and prosecuting the majority of domestic violence applications,'' Ms Spence said.



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