Riverina police were called to 28 separate instances of domestic and family violence last weekend alone. Alarmingly, it is not altogether unexpected.
“There’s no typical number that we deal with [on a given weekend], but certainly people are more aware of domestic violence,” said Wagga’s Detective Sergeant Phil Malligan.
With the upcoming weekend marking White Ribbon Day, and the beginning of the international 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, the issue is once again in focus.
Domestic violence researcher Dr Andreia Schineanu hopes this week’s discussions will delve deeper than the usual.
“We talk a lot about the numbers and statistics, but they represent people and families that are being traumatised,” she said.
“Sadly it’s not surprising that there were that many over the weekend. But I think people are not aware of the magnitude of the problem.
“We talk a lot about other crimes, like the amount of cars stolen and torched, well for every one of those there’s about 15 cases of domestic violence.”
When confronted with the recent statistics, Wagga City mayor Greg Conkey described the situation as “appalling”.
“It should be stressed that [the weekend’s 28 cases are] just the reported instances, there are a lot more that go on and do not get reported,” Cr Conkey said.
“I understand that it’s not uncommon for police to see up to 40 in a single weekend. That should be of concern to all members of the public.”