TASMANIA Police data shows that family violence has decreased steadily since the 2009 financial year, but a Launceston women's counsellor says the statistics are the tip of the iceberg.
The Department of Police and Emergency Management Annual Report 2012-13, shows there were 2254 family violence incidents across the state in the 2013 financial year.
This compares with the past four financial years when there were 2532 incidents in 2012, 2693 in 2011, 3109 in 2010, and 3452 in 2009.
Yemaya Women's Counselling and Support Service counsellor Mary, who was unable to give her full name because of safety reasons, said she could not say for sure how much domestic violence was out there.
Mary has 14 years' experience at Yemaya and is one of the co- ordinators for the not-for-profit organisation. She estimated that the service helped around 200 women each year.
"A lot of women don't recognise that they are in abusive relationships," Mary said.
"Because a lot of people still believe that domestic violence is just about physical violence. And society still condones abuse in relationships."
Mary said the police response had improved since the government's Safe at Home program was introduced in 2004.
"When it first came in, it was seen as the best response to family violence in Australia," she said.
"I think it is, in lots of ways, but resources have been reduced. The police response is not as good as it used to be. They have had big cutbacks."
Mary said domestic violence was under-reported, like sexual assaults.
"The statistics probably don't mean very much," she said.
Inspector Darren Hopkins, of Northern District Support Services, said although there had been a reduction in the Victim Safety Response Team based on Launceston, from five officers to three, the team was still working effectively.
"They monitor all family violence reports, but are there to manage the aftermath of family violence incidents," he said. "And the uniform, general duties personnel still attend as well. Everyone has been trained in family violence."
Inspector Hopkins said while there might be some unreported offences, incidents had decreased during the past several years.