The Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Women, Sussan Ley, and the Shadow Minister for Child Protection and the Prevention of Family Violence, Senator Kerrynne Liddle, are launching a domestic violence awareness drive to call on all Australians to use their social media accounts to share support services available.
This intervention comes as the latest data demonstrates a spike in domestic violence over the Christmas-New Year holidays and a warning this year could be worse given increased cost of living pressures.
As part of the awareness campaign the Deputy Leader has written to major Australian companies that millions of Australians will visit, physically and online, over the holidays, as well as leading peak bodies, to ask them to contribute. It has already delivered results with social media behemoth LinkedIn posting support services on its platform which has over 14 million Australian members.
Key domestic violence support services to share include:
- If you are in immediate danger always call Emergency Services – 000
- If you or someone you know has experienced, or is at risk of experiencing domestic, family or sexual violence:
- Dial 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732
- Text 1800 RESPECT on 0458 737 732 (this is a new service)
- If you are concerned about your own or someone else’s behaviour or use of violence, you can contact the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491
Domestic Violence Data
According to data from the Parliamentary Library compiled from Victoria Police, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, and Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia sees a significant increase in domestic and family violence over the holiday period.
According to the data in New South Wales over the 2022-23 holiday period domestic violence related incidents spiked from 7,020 in June 2022 to 8,775 in January 2023, a 25 per cent increase. In Victoria it spiked from 7,201 in June 2022 to 8,371 in January 2023, a 16 per cent increase. Please note that incidents of domestic violence are an undercount as many victims do not report to police.
Analysis demonstrates overall both Victoria and New South Wales show the same pattern with December and January elevated when compared to other months, likewise in March (often a period when the financial effects of Christmas can start to bite). It is also clear through the data that following Covid-19, the number of incidents has remained high for both states, as can be seen in 2022-23.
This coincides with increases in mortgage repayments and the cost of living. Given the increased cost of living this holiday season, and the higher baseline of incidents already this year, the level of violence could be worse than previous years.
Historically there are spikes on the New Year’s public holiday too. According to advocacy organisation No to Violence, using data from 2019-2020:
- New South Wales experienced 85 per cent more family domestic violence assault incidents on New Years’ Day.
- Victoria experienced 111 per cent more family domestic violence police incidents on New Years’ Day.
- Northern Territory experienced 58 per cent more family domestic violence assault incidents on New Years’ Day.
- South Australia experienced 50 per cent more family domestic violence assault incidents on New Years’ Day.
- Queensland experienced 112 per cent more family domestic violence assault incidents on New Years’ Day.
- Tasmania experienced 75 per cent more family domestic violence assault incidents on New Years’ Day.
The Deputy Opposition Leader and Shadow Minister for Women Sussan Ley said while it might seem like just a small gesture, sharing domestic violence support services on your socials might just save a life this Christmas.
“You might not need help but statistically someone you know will and many women who suffer in silence just need that extra prompt to seek support.
“We know as cost-of-living bites and financial pressures build, so too does the risk of domestic violence and so I’m really concerned about this holiday period.
“When it comes to domestic violence every single person can make a difference, but so too can big businesses with huge social media followings – that’s why I have written to many of them asking that they share these services too.
“We have already seen a tragic number of women killed this year, so my simple message to all Australians is: Save a life. Share these services.”
Shadow Minister for Child Protection and the Prevention of Family Violence, Senator Kerrynne Liddle said family and domestic violence occurs in many forms, with most occurring behind closed doors.
“While the escalating rates of family violence across our nation are alarming and need urgent action, it’s even more harrowing to think of how much goes unreported.
“Phoning, texting or emailing for support and assistance at any time, any day is the right time.
“The ultimate gift is reaching out to help someone you believe needs it. Watch for the signs and lend a hand. Domestic and family violence does not discriminate.”