December's dark side

THE silly season has brought on a spike in domestic violence incidents, with families being forced to call police 31 times in a single weekend recently.

Both Bundaberg police and Edon Place Women's Domestic Violence Service said they had seen a significant increase in domestic incidents this month, as Christmas heaped pressure on families and relationships.

Bundaberg police Inspector Kev Guteridge said the number of household disputes that required police attendance often increased at this time of year.

"It's ridiculous to think that that much police time is wasted because people cannot be respectful to their families," he said.

"If people have difficulty controlling their temper with their family, just like in the public, they just need to walk away."

Insp Guteridge said a large part of the increase in domestic incidents was due to families getting back together for the Christmas period.

Edon Place service director Lyne Booth said a spike in the numbers of women needing help was expected every Christmas.

"The reason that we have an increase in clients during the festive season varies," she said.

"It can be financial pressures, alcohol or families coming back together."

Ms Booth said the heightened pressure on their service was expected to continue into January.

"We have seen an increase since the start of December," she said.

Ms Booth was not able to provide precise statistics of the difference in the number of people using their services, but confirmed it was significantly more than in November.

She said staff had been pitching together to cope with the increase in clients.

"It is disheartening to see so many people here during a time which is supposed to be a celebration," she said.

On the brighter side, the service is well equipped to deal with the increase in women seeking shelter due to generous donations.

"But we are running short of linen, pillows and toiletries," she said.


Where to get help

  • Edon Place - 4153 6820
  • DV Connect - Women's Line - 1800 811 811
  • DV Connect - Men's Line - 1800 600 636
  • Relationships Australia - 1300 364 277

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