The so-called silly season can be a dangerous time for some, with rates of family domestic violence spiking.
No to Violence, Respect Victoria and Victoria Police have come together to encourage all Victorians to have a “Safe Silly Season”.
According to data collected by Crime Statistics Agency relating to the number of family violence incidents – including verbal arguments, harassment, property damage, aggravated burglary, theft and IVO breaches – Victoria Police responded to 49 per cent more incidents on Christmas Day and 27 per cent more incidents on Boxing Day than the daily averages in 2019.
No to Violence chief executive officer Jacqui Watt said the family domestic violence sector was no stranger to the spike during this time, and encouraged the community to not be bystanders.
“We all like to overindulge a little during the Silly Season period and to let off steam. But this does not mean we aren’t accountable for our behaviour.”
Respect Victoria chief executive officer Tracey Gaudry said preventing family violence began with addressing inequalities at home, in relationships and in families.
“From making sure the decision-making is shared equally, to approaching differing opinions with respect, and even sharing the chores, we all have steps we can take to call out our own attitudes and behaviours and those of others.
“By inviting and engaging men to consider their behaviour and seek meaningful change by calling the Men’s Referral Service (1300 766 491), we can reduce repeated incidents of family domestic violence, and provide safer households and communities for women, children and men.”
Acting Superintendent Marnie Johnstone from Family Violence Command said Victoria Police continued to respond to family violence incidents as a priority.
“It’s important to remember that for some people, coming together with family, especially after a difficult year, can be a particularly stressful time.
“This time of year serves as an important reminder that family violence is never okay; there is no excuse for abusing a loved one.”