Nationals Member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland has called for action after new figures revealed parts of the Euroa electorate were home to some of the worst family violence statistics in the entire state.
Speaking in Parliament during the week, Ms Cleeland said the numbers in the region were shocking.
“In regional areas, sadly including the Euroa electorate, breaches of family violence are one of the most frequent offences committed,” Ms Cleeland said.
“It is the number one recorded offence in the Benalla, Strathbogie, Mitchell, Campaspe, Greater Shepparton, and Greater Bendigo LGAs – essentially the entire electorate.”
In Benalla, family violence incidents are up 17 per cent from last year – with the number of incidents far more than double the state average.
There were 423 total family incidents in Benalla this past year, and 289 breaches of family violence orders, for an area with just over 10,000 people.
The next most frequent offence recorded was criminal damage, with just 108 incidents during the same time period.
The Mitchell shire saw an 11 per cent in family violence incidents in the last 12 months, with nearly 1100 incidents and 736 breaches of family violence orders.
“These numbers are showing that we are in the midst of a family violence crisis,” Ms Cleeland said.
“Despite these heartbreaking statistics, Seymour and Benalla do not have dedicated physical points of contact for those experiencing family violence.”
This week in Parliament Ms Cleeland spoke on a Bill aiming to make non-fatal strangulation committed against a family member a standalone domestic violence offence.
“Someone strangled by their abusive partner will be up to seven times more likely to face severe harm and death than other survivors of family violence,” Ms Cleeland said.
“As it stands, Victoria is the only state that does not have specific laws relating to non-fatal strangulation, with the incidents commonly charged as an assault.
“I am pleased to see Victoria join the rest of the country in recognising the significance of this crime.
“With family violence being an epidemic in our community, it is so important that we can recognise the signs to support victim-survivors, and now through this legislation, make sure those committing the crimes are sufficiently punished.”