Melbourne ~ Friday December 8 2017
Quarter of all youths committing family violence are boys bashing their mums
By Tammy Mills
Mothers of teenage boys are often bearing the brunt of violent attacks in their family home.
In the past year, there were 7000 young perpetrators of family violence in Victoria.
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A quarter of those were men and boys – aged 19 and under – who offended against their mother.
Now, family violence perpetrators will be treated as seriously as those who commit crimes such as terrorism and murder under a new Victoria Police strategy.
Family violence investigation units will mirror major crime squads with specialist detectives targeting repeat offenders and analysts and psychologists working to predict escalating behaviour before women and children are seriously injured or murdered.
Acting Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said the consequences of family violence are the same as terrorism, and it should be viewed with the same gravity.
"The ramifications are the same in the long run. We have death, we have serious trauma, we have serious injury and we have people impacted for the rest of their lives," Mr Patton said.
It signifies another shift forward in police strategy that began with former chief commissioner Christine Nixon in the early 2000s, and moved from awareness-raising and myth-busting to reforming how uniformed officers respond. .
The investigations units, which will operate in a similar way to the sexual offending and child investigation abuse teams (called SOCITs), will replace the family violence teams at 34 of the state's busiest stations over the next two years, police said.
Current family violence teams consist of members rotated from the uniform branch who are not trained detectives.
The investigation units will also be integrated into the multi-disciplinary centres at Geelong, Dandenong and Werribee.
The centres already bring together SOCITs, sexual assault counsellors and child protection workers into the one building.
The units aim to complement the family violence taskforce, which work statewide and target the most serious repeat offenders, and cold case family violence crimes.
The force's latest research, compiled as part of the new strategy, has found:
? In the past six years, more than 11,000 perpetrators harmed three or more victims.
? Almost 1500 had five or more victims and were responsible for family violence, sex offences and child abuse.
? Women and girls are the victims in 75 per cent of cases.
? There were 16 family violence murders in 2016-17, making up 28 per cent of homicides.
Funding for the 415 police and unsworn employees is through the government's community safety strategy.
Police Minister Lisa Neville called it a key milestone in the under-reported crimes of family violence, sex offences and child abuse.