Many police officers in Tasmania will tell you they are blown away by the amount of family violence they are called to.
From Constables starting on the beat, in their first few days in many cases, it is the thing they first notice.
The amount of family violence in Tasmania, 6129 arguments and incidents over the past year, makes it "core business" for Tasmania Police.
In Northern Tasmania alone there were 1621 arguments and incidents of family violence from 2020 to 2021.
Tasmania Police Northern District Sergeant Darren Hill has been working at the front line in the police response to family violence since 2009.
Sergeant Hill is attached to the Victim Safety Response Team - the Family Violence Unit - and family violence is what he deals with every day.
In the last five to seven years family violence has become core business for Tasmania Police.- Sergeant Darren Hill
Sergeant Hill says it is not solely because of the sheer amount of family violence cases they deal with, but simply because "that's where it should be", "from a police, governmental and community perspective".
"Family violence is something nobody wants in the community. Whether that's something for a utopian society, who knows? But it's certainly something nobody wants," he says.
In Victoria, by way of comparison, the police force has an entire family violence command. It is the first of its kind in the country, and is said to be world-leading in many regards.
The command followed a Victorian Royal Commission into family violence in 2016 which presented 227 recommendations about how the state could strengthen its response to what is often described as a "behind closed doors" crime.
The Royal Commission came in the wake of landmark moments in Victorian history, and at a time when family violence in Victoria was dominating the police response more than any other state. Those landmark moments included the death of Luke Batty at the hands of his father.
His mother, Rosie Batty, has since become an ever present face in the fight against family violence.
In the most recent Victoria Police annual report, the response of police to family violence incidents averaged out to 571 cases for every 100,000 people.
The same report highlighted there were 716 family violence order - an order designed to make it criminal for a perpetrator to have contact with the victim-survivor- breaches for every 100,000 people.
In Tasmania there are about 1133 family violence incidents or arguments for every 100,000 people. For family violence order breaches, both police and private orders, that rate was 288 for every 100,000.
And despite the statistics painting a concerning picture, Sergeant Hill says they do not tell the whole story.
He says, on average, between five and seven incidents of family violence occur before the first report, and before police ever respond.
He says this is something Tasmania Police have come to factor in when they do eventually respond, and it is at the front of their mind when they are processing the risk in front of them when called to a scene where a victim has had their nose broken or they see things out of place around the house, like a toppled over table for example.
Before Sergeant Hill and the FVU come along, it is the every day officers, often from country stations, who need to think quickly and effectively to control a situation and ensure they get the best outcomes.
"We're very aware that the first initial report made, for the vast majority of occasions isn't the first time there have been incidents," he says.
"When police do have that intervention and they start talking to the victims and going through things, you find all of the triggers in relation to a number of different [typical examples of family violence] are there.
And they've been slowing coming along and there have been multiple incidents over many years, it just hasn't been reported for a whole range of reasons.- Sergeant Darren Hill
Those typical examples, which are now being reflected more and more through legislation and in general and ongoing education, are starting to illustrate the gravity of the family violence situation in Tasmania, and the rest of Australia.
Non-fatal strangulation, long an example of escalating family violence - research shows it equates out to a victim being seven times more likely to be eventually murdered - will be added to the list of legislative red flags at police disposal at some stage in 2022.
While Sergeant Hill says this is something the force has considered an escalation of violence for some time, he and his colleagues now will soon be able to lay that charge.
But part of that evaluation police need to do during the important first and initial response can often include recognising emotional manipulation or coercive control - something else that has begun to be legislated around the country and has essentially been part of leading Tasmanian legislation since 2004.
Sergeant Hill says this can manifest itself in many ways, and an effective way for responding police to evaluate that risk can be as simple as noting who answers the door when they do respond.
He says noting who opens he front door, if they say, "the wife is back there, she's just a bit upset", "she might have some mental health issues", or if they are overly affable and friendly, the bells start ringing.
He says the first contact is important to get right.
The country response areas are often, first and foremost, the initial response to incidents, they see people at their worst and most fearful.- Sergeant Darren Hill
"But it's important to ensure we get a good picture. And the only way we can do that is by an intervention practice and separating the people and at least giving them both an opportunity to be heard, which is the big thing."
That intervention might be the only chance police have to intervene in a family violence situation before it escalates.
And it might be the last chance they have to capitalise on a moment of courage from a victim who could have been silenced by a controlling partner for years.
"It's important that our first intervention, or how we intervene with victims and offenders, gives police the opportunity of time, to be able to look at the scene correctly, be able to discuss as much as they can in relation to it," Sergeant Hill says.
"In the evolving circumstances of family violence relationships police need to go in very wide-eyed ... Our roles in the family violence units are to look more deeply for indicators that may have been missed.
We find that, eventually, if victims know they are going to be listened to and they can see something has improved, they'll know they've been listened to this time, and they know they will be next time.- Sergeant Darren Hill
Sergeant Hill openly recalls attending cases where there had been serious family violence going on behind closed doors for 20 or 30 years, but after eventual police intervention the victim is able to express what they have been experiencing and work towards breaking free to a new life.
For some, like those from a culturally and linguistically diverse background, this is becoming a more obvious and difficult challenge for police, and something Sergeant Hill says is a focus.
While the police intervention might be the moment enabling that, Sergeant Hill explains that it takes a village.
But, from therapeutic approaches, to the family, friends and neighbours that notice something is not right, preventing and stopping family violence is something he says is the responsibility of the whole community.
"If police are having to attend a matter of serious family violence in the home, and that is a necessary and very important eventual requirement, then as a community we have actually already failed," he says.
The ideas of the 1970s and prior to that where you don't air your dirty laundry in public is a thing of the past. The community do not want this type of thing hidden from them. They want it removed and they want there to be change.- Sergeant Darren Hill
Recently, Sergeant Hill says, that change has been evidenced by a reduction in what are classified as high-risk incidents of family violence.
That reduction came as a result of Tasmania Police's Project Vigilance where family violence perpetrators had an electric monitor slapped on.
A recent report showed there had been sweeping reductions in those high-risk incidents as well as ongoing decreases in offending after the monitor was removed and a reduction in physical assaults and general violence.
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