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  • New Year's Day generating the most reported cases of family violence
  • By Brendan Roberts
  • The Herald Sun
  • 20/12/2008 Make a Comment
  • Contributed by: The Rooster ( 264 articles in 2008 )
ALARMING statistics show the start to the new year will be a tragic one for many families, with New Year's Day generating the most reported cases of family violence.

Police were called to almost 1000 family violence incidents during the Christmas and New Year holiday period leading into this year.

New Year's Day was the busiest for police, responding to 169 incidents, followed by Boxing Day with 123 reports and New Year's Eve with 120.

Deputy Commissioner Simon Overland vowed police would use new powers brought this month to crack down on violent home offenders over the holidays.

"We want to say to men: Don't do it . . . if a situation is getting out of control go for a walk, leave the house, because if we come along we have new powers available to us that will allow us to take action then and there," Mr Overland said.

"We want to say to women and children who most often are the people, who are victims of family violence, that you don't have to put up with it . . . if you are having problems you need to ring us so that we can come and help you."

New powers let police to evict suspects from their homes for up to 72 hours.

Jane Ashton, whose twin Julie Ramage was killed by her estranged husband James five years ago, urged family members to stop violence.

"On New Year's Eve in 1993 I watched my twin sister be pushed to the ground by her husband and I did nothing," Ms Ashton said. "Ten years later he murdered her.

"For men who choose to control and abuse their partners, Christmas gives them a whole raft of excuses for their behaviour.

"I wish my New Year's resolution had been to help my sister. He might have been charged and she might still be alive."

Ramage was convicted of manslaughter after saying his wife provoked him into losing control.


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