Domestic violence rises 10%

FAMILY violence in the North has increased by nearly 10 per cent in the past year, with experts anticipating it is going to get worse.

The annual Tasmania Police performance report shows there were 660 domestic violence incidents in the North in 2013-14, which is above the three- year average.

Statewide there were 2380 family violent incidents, excluding arguments, up from 2286.

Hobart-based advocacy group SHE (Support, Help and Empowerment) executive officer Alina Thomas said she expected the figures to worsen as federal government budget cuts came home to roost.

"We know money issues increase stress in the family setting," she said.

"We're not asking ourselves what is going to happen, we're asking how are we going to brace ourselves for it," she said.

Ms Thomas said police and other organisations did a good job dealing with domestic violence with the "minuscule resources we're given".

Experts agree awareness about domestic violence is increasing," she said.

"Ever so slowly it's gone from something which happens in the home and is nobody's business to something which is a serious problem," Ms Thomas said.

Women's Legal Service Tasmania chief executive Susan Fahey said a shift from physical abuse to economic and emotional harm was becoming clearer.

"People rarely report these forms and even when they do there is little that the police can do in practical terms," she said.

A large number of the women that Ms Fahey's centre helps still don't report physical violence either.

"Our experience is that it is definitely not in decline, if anything it still remains very under reported," she said.

According to the Tasmania Police report 96 per cent of offenders were arrested at the scene compared with 89 per cent last year.


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