By 6:30am every day, police in Australia have already dealt with 195 domestic violence matters.

This could be any day. This is every day.

It’s 6:30am and the dreaded buzz that jarringly pulls me from the land of the blissfully unaware to reality fills my ears. At that moment, the daily internal debate about getting up versus getting more sleep is the most pressing thing in my world.

But, by the same awfully early hour, police in Australia have already attended the scenes of 195 incidents of domestic violence.

Sleepy and grumpy at the alarm’s intrusion into my pleasant dream, I press snooze once. Twice.

Police attend another nine cases while I doze in my comfy, warm bed.

Some of the women violently killed in Australia this year.

By the time I leave my desk for my first hit of caffeine around 10:30am, the tally has risen to 315.

The statistics are shocking.

Especially because we never hear anything about the vast majority of these cases.

The cases we do hear about are the ugliest of them all – the ones that, after escalating violence and ongoing threats, end in a bloody murder.

Around 59 women across the country have allegedly been killed by violence so far this year.

Mother-of-two Adelle Collins was murdered in her home.

Like Nikita Chawla, 23, whose throat was allegedly slit by husband Parminder Singh in a jealous rage.

And 39-year-old mother of two Adelle Collins, whose former boyfriend allegedly broke into her home and stabbed her to death.

Or mother-to-be Fabiana Palhares, who was allegedly bludgeoned to death with a tomahawk by her estranged boyfriend, 34-year-old Brock Wall.

Nikita Chawla was allegedly brutally murdered by her husband.

And, disturbingly, the number of domestic violence incidents is on the rise (although whether it’s due to increased reporting or increased incidents, police don’t know).


While police are busy attending incident after incident, dealing with aggro men and battered women, most of us are oblivious.

But by the time I leave work at 5:30pm, dreaming up something to cook for dinner from the limited ingredients in the fridge, 525 Australians have been terrified enough to call the police for assistance.

While I busy myself watching The Bachelor, or MasterChef, or some other mindless show to relax and tune the world out, another 30 victims suffer.

Pregnant murder victim Fabiana Palhares.

Australia’s first royal commission into domestic violence has heard harrowing story after harrowing story.

One woman said she was told by police she would need a “bullet in the brain” before they could intervene after she complained her former husband was repeatedly breaching an intervention order. Another woman said she was repeatedly raped by her husband over a decade and was then released into his care from hospital after she attempted suicide.

As I sleep peacefully, dreaming of the weekend and tropical holidays, and the clock ticks over to midnight, police will have dealt with around 657 cases of domestic violence that day — an average of one incident every two minutes. Each and every day. But they won’t have time to stop and reflect on that, because that phone will keep ringing.

Around 239,846 cases are being reported to police per year across the country.

No matter how far removed from the violence we may be, that is a number that can no longer be ignored.

* For more information on the statistics, including a state-by-state breakdown, click here.

If you’re experiencing sexual assault or domestic or family violence, call the 1800 RESPECT 24-hour national helpline on 1800 737 732.