'Vicious assaults' behind closed CQ doors on the rise
IN THE five months of 2018 so far, there have been the same amount of domestic-violence related offences in Rockhampton as in the entire of 2002.
Not uncommon, these frightening statistics and growth in occurrence can be felt across Queensland.
In Rockhampton, the number of domestic violence protection order breaches in 2017 almost tripled that of the 10 years previous; 293 compared to 111.
May 1 marks the start of Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month, which raises awareness to one of the region's most prevalent issues.
Capricornia District Superintendent Ron Van Saane said this is a very important issue as domestic and family violence continues to be the number-one problem in our district.
"We get over 100 calls a fortnight of domestic and family violence related incidents,” Supt Van Saane said.
"It's a problem for our police, our other government agencies and for many non government agencies.
"The impact on our community is terrible, especially to those who are most vulnerable, including women and children.
"We all have to do something to stop this social issue getting worse.”
Education and awareness programs will be held across the region throughout May to raise public knowledge around the issue.
"They will be carried out in Gladstone, Yeppoon, Rockhampton and Emerald to try and get the community to come together and understand that it is everyone's responsibly to stop this terrible crime,” Supt Van Saane said.
"We have to do something to help each other if we know someone is suffering from domestic and family violence.
"Our domestic and family violence prevention month is about education. We believe that breaking the cycle has to start with our youngest people.
Supt Van Saane said unfortunately this issue is increasing in the Capricornia district, with breaches going up by 10 per cent over the past 12 months.
"Over the past five years we have seen a 70 per cent increase in breaches,” Superintendent Van Saane said.
"Breaches are a concern because that's where people are getting hurt, they are getting intimidated and victims are being harassed.
"It's increasing every week, every month and every year.”
Supt Van Saane said during every shift the front-line officers are going to domestic and family violence issues.
"The cost of our front-line police officers is getting worse every year,” Supt Van Saane said.
"For the people involved, it destroys lives. For our officers each occurrence takes two to three hours of work they could be putting towards prevention of crime in other areas.
"It really knocks our officers about. Imagine going to breaches daily where you are seeing kids screaming and partners who have been inflicted with all sorts of vicious assaults.
"For our young officers this is what they are doing every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night.”
Supt Van Saane also had a message for the members of the community who are breaching the orders: "Turn your habits around. Or you will end up with the full force of the law on top of you.”