COURTS are starting to hand down harsher penalties for family violence matters, says Sergeant Margaret Singe.
"The message around not tolerating family violence is obviously out there because people are reporting it," she said.
"But how we get the message to the perpetrators that it won't be tolerated, I don't know.
"It's a difficult one.
"Basically all we can do from a policing perspective is charge them and take them before the courts and hopefully the courts will do their job and give them the punishment they deserve.
"We are seeing better results in court now because they're seeing such a volume of family violence going through the courts that they're starting to realise the problem that's out there, so we are getting better penalties.
"We've had a few people jailed for breaches of interventions, when three or four years ago you probably wouldn't have seen it."
Sergeant Singe is a family violence advisor with Bendigo Police.
She said family violence incidents were continuing to rise.
"I'm a bit over the fact that we're going up because of reporting," Sergeant Singe said.
"We're going up because there's more family violence out there.
"Originally when we had significant rises I think that was due to reporting but now I'm not so sure.
"Why are people not getting the message?
"I honestly don't know.
"I guess we have people out there who have violence within them and maybe they can be violent at home because they don't think they're going to get caught.
"Whereas they wouldn't do it to a mate in the street."
Sergeant Singe said people needed to look out for indicators of family violence.
"People need to be looking in their work places, they need to be looking with their friends and saying, 'Hang on a minute, that's just not going to work'," she said.
"If they are seeing the indicators they need to be aware that perhaps something is happening and perhaps keep a closer eye on it.
"But the statistics are just horrible at the moment right across the state."