Hidden toll lurks behind headlines
A WOMAN was stabbed and another dragged into a car and held against her will during a horrific week of domestic violence in Townsville.
Among a raft of incidents across the city this week, a man was charged with more than 40 domestic violence- related offences.
Shockingly the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was released on bail earlier this year, charged with more than 20 offences against another partner.
Police warn there could be many more domestic violence incidents going unreported, with victims too frightened to speak out.
Townsville Domestic and Family Violence Co- ordinator Sergeant Elise Feltham said the hidden nature of the scourge made it hard for the community to understand the severity of the issue.
“Sadly our community are made aware of the severe cases of domestic and family violence reported by the media,” Sgt Feltham said.
“Often the reports relate to the extreme cases which have tragically resulted in the death of victims.
“What is not reported on is the endless cases of violence and abuse that occur every day across Queensland and indeed Australia.”
Sgt Feltham said children were also victims of domestic violence in Townsville, with more than 250 exposed to the abuse in June alone.
“The home is the place that families should feel the safest, yet sadly in Townsville, as in most other communities, this isn’t the case,” she said.
“More than 250 children in the Townsville community were exposed to some sort to domestic and family violence in June 2017, that figure is just disturbing, especially when you think about how that is going to affect those children in the future.”
Sgt Feltham said the public needed to stamp out domestic and family violence by not turning a blind eye to victims, while offenders needed to control their behaviour.
“It is vital that the community appreciates that domestic and family violence is a criminal action, and not just a family dispute.
“There is no one else responsible for the way someone treats another person.”