With Mandurah Magistrates Court hearing a steady number of domestic and family violence related matters over the last year, a concerning pattern has started to emerge in the Peel.
"I definitely think the figures speak for themselves, there is a rise in family violence reports and complaints ranging from assaults to breaches of orders," said Mandurah's officer in charge, Senior Sergeant Ross Blake.
From July of 2021 to today, there have been 1,047 instances of family violence and 144 reports of threatening behaviour towards family.
Snr Sgt Blake said that while figures were a concern, they were also a sign that people were feeling increasingly comfortable to come forward and report these incidents.
"If the figures were to drop-off, we wouldn't be nave enough to think we've stopped it," he said.
"Part of that rise is definitely due to greater confidence from the victims to come forward which is a great thing - they know they're going to be listened to and taken seriously."
As well as encouraging people to report these matters to police, Snr Sgt Blake said Mandurah police are connected to a number of resources designed to assist those going through domestic or family violence.
He said it was important to hold perpetrators to account in order for them to recognise what they've done and change their behaviour so it is not a "constant merry go 'round in and out".
"As an agency we are very passionate about getting things in place to support victims and getting perpetrators in front of the court.
"It doesn't necessarily have to be assault, family violence can be coercive behaviour, financial control - it is just as important we get involved in those before they turn into worse offences."
Snr Sgt Blake said police are able to show up and provide a stop gap if needed and can also provide links to organisations such as OVIS community services to provide support to those experiencing family violence and coercive control.
We would rather reports go through the roof than it being a secret underbelly that we didn't know about.- Senior Sergeant Ross Blake
"If someone makes a report we can make those referrals and provide support. Alternatively, even if someone sent emails into the station we can link and pass on details to our family violence response team who work closely with organisations who facilitate things like housing and education."
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He said anyone who had doubts about whether something was worth reporting or not should call anyway.
"We want to build confidence and trust for people to come forward tell us about things. We would rather reports go through the roof than it being a secret underbelly that we didn't know about."
Snr Sgt Blake said anyone experiencing domestic or family violence who is in immediate danger should call 000, and anyone wishing to make a report or talk with police should call 131 444.
"We will look into every report and do our utmost to support and where required go through to prosecutions."
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