CONCERN: DVAC chief Gabrielle Borggaard is worried what Christmas will bring for domestic violence rates.
CONCERN: DVAC chief Gabrielle Borggaard is worried what Christmas will bring for domestic violence rates. David Nielsen

Domestic violence service unsure how Christmas will pan out

HOW many people be will be verbally assaulted, punched, kicked or even killed by a person they know this Christmas awaits to be seen.

Responders are uncertain how many domestic violence cases they will face during the unpredictable Christmas period.

Ipswich Domestic Violence Action Centre CEO Gabrielle Borggaard said the organisation would keep its crisis response service open daily from 9am-5pm.

Her staff have been working overtime each day and she says she cannot predict how the Christmas period will work out.

"We won't really know until we return,” she said.

"Sometimes things can quieten down over Christmas because people are occupied with other things.

"Sometimes things can increase... because of pressure, and then violence escalates.

"It just aggravates the violence.”

The Christmas break caps off another increasingly busy year for the vital community service.

"We've certainly seen an increase in people coming to our service in the past couple of years,” Ms Borggaard said.

She puts the growth down to more attention and discussion about gender-based violence, leading to the matter becoming less stigmatised.

The reasoning for the trend does not excuse domestic violence, she said.

"We are absolutely worried it's been trending upwards.”

About 77 women and 20 children have been killed in domestic violence this year.

For 24-hour domestic violence support, call the national hotline 1800737732.



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