Wayss is there for FV support

Wayss stands ready to support those experiencing family violence. Picture: SANDY MILLAR, UNSPLASH

By Danielle Kutchel

With the City of Casey experiencing another shocking rise in family violence, Wayss has reiterated it is there to support families to address the issue.

The domestic violence support service received 4049 family violence referrals from Victoria Police in the 12 months to end of June 2021 – from within the City of Casey alone.

On average, the organisation received 337 per month.

In a statement, Wayss said this was a 6.6 per cent increase on the previous 12 month period, which had itself seen an 11.8 per cent increase from the 12 months prior to that.

“We are reassured that incidents are being reported,” said Robyn Roberts, general manager of Client Services at Wayss.

“That is the first step for people to access support.”

According to the latest crime statistics, released late last month, family violence incidents in Casey increased by 8.6 per cent over the 12 months to June 2021 – the largest jump since 2018.

The City of Casey leads the state in family incidents, recording a total of 5487, far ahead of other Victorian local government areas.

Ms Roberts said the lockdowns seen from June 2020 to June 2021 had brought challenges including job losses, financial and emotional stress to families.

“Combine that with limited opportunities to leave the home to release the pressure of family relationship breakdown and it was a perfect storm,” she said.

“Too often we see women and children bearing the brunt of the stress and anger being felt by their partner.”

She said it was critical for those impacted by family violence to have access to come to Wayss for support as they recover.

“We will continue to work with Victoria Police, the government, local council and the broader community to support these families and develop sustainable, innovative long term solutions to this complex issue,” she said.