With the country gearing up for a weekend of football finals, some states’ police and crisis services are preparing for a weekend of increased reports of family violence.
In the ACT however, ACT Policing says it does not receive any significant increase in the reporting of “family matters” on grand final weekends.
An ACT Policing spokesperson said “ACT Policing is committed to continuing its work with those at risk from family violence, and works closely with Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS) and other partner agencies to assist people who are encountering family violence”.
DVCS’ interim general manager, Glenda Stevens, says the organisation has also never historically seen a spike in family violence incidents during large-scale sporting events such as grand finals or State of Origin.
“We’re not anticipating a spike this year either,” she said.
The connection between major sporting and events and reports of assault is not a new one.
According to a consortium of national domestic and family violence organisations including No to Violence, 1800 RESPECT and Our Watch, last year’s NRL and AFL grand finals saw an increase in family violence incidents attended by police in both NSW and Victoria.
NSW experienced an almost 28% increase in family violence police incidents on NRL grand final day, and just over 16% for the AFL grand final. Victorian statistics reveal an increase of just over 15% for the AFL grand final and nearly 12% for the NRL.
In 2018, data from the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) revealed that between 2012 and 2017, there was a 40.7% average increase in domestic violence in New South Wales on State of Origin Game days, and an increase of 71.8% for non-domestic assaults.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000. In the ACT, the Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS) can be contacted on 6280 0900.