Rates of domestic and family violence are on the increase in Gladstone.
Rates of domestic and family violence are on the increase in Gladstone. Thinkstock

Domestic violence on the rise in Gladstone

REPORTS of domestic and family violence in Gladstone are on the rise but a Gladstone Police sergeant said this could be a good thing.

Capricornia police district domestic and family violence co-ordinator Sergeant Vicki Dredge said she hoped the report increase was because more people were taking a stance against abuse.

In the Gladstone area in the past financial year there was a 15 per cent increase in reports of domestic and family violence.

In the same period domestic violence breaches also rose but police predict there will be a 16 per cent decrease in the current financial year.

Sgt Dredge said with May being Domestic and Family Violence Awareness Month, she hoped by increasing the conversation around the once taboo topic more people would speak up.

She said reports of domestic and family violence had over the past few years been higher in the Gladstone area compared to the state average.

"We also do a lot of awareness so that could be taken both ways,” Sgt Dredge said.

"Is it because of that awareness there that people have that confidence to report it?”

Sgt Dredge said it was important to note domestic violence didn't always leave a mark. It could be emotional or financial.

Domestic and family violence victims can contact DV Connect (1800811811), Gladstone's Women's Health Service (49791456) and police (000) if there is an emergency.

Sgt Dredge said bystanders played an important role.

"If it's something that is getting out of control and they don't feel that person is safe, they don't feel they'll be safe intervening themselves, call police that's our job,” she said.

"Because that person who is involved may not be in a position, may not have the confidence to call police or may cause more trauma to them at the time.

"It can be as simple as asking someone 'are you OK'.”

Sgt Dredge said bystander actions could "definitely” save lives.

"It's a community responsibility. To turn around and say 'that's none of my business'... that's not correct,” she said.

Sgt Dredge hoped by raising awareness abuse would subside within the community.

"I would love to be out of a job, how good would that be... An abuse-free community,” she said.



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