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Wassing takes a stand against violence
CFA Assistant Chief Officer Mike Wassing says statistics about violence against women are shocking.
Research reveals one in three Australian women experience domestic violence in their lifetimes.
Story from the Bendigo Advertiser
As a father of three daughters, Mr Wassing said he found the numbers concerning.
"I was astounded when I saw the statistics of violence generally and violence against women," he said.
Mr Wassing is an ambassador for the violence prevention conference in Bendigo, taking place this Tuesday and Wednesday.
He is passionate about spreading the message that violence should not be tolerated and that everybody has a role to play in preventing it.
Mr Wassing said he encountered domestic violence through his role at the CFA.
He said there was often an increase in domestic violence in communities that had suffered traumatic events, such as fires and floods.
"After a major bush fire people see the destruction of the fire on the housing and loss of life, which is terrible, but because of the increase in stress and trauma often, if left untreated, that can lead to other symptoms," he said.
"Research shows there is an increase in domestic violence.
"It can happen sometime down the track when the fire trucks have gone home."
Mr Wassing said the CFA worked with communities, in conjunction with the Department of Human Services and the Department of Health, to help people deal with the emotional effects of a fire.
He said if women and men experienced family violence after a traumatic event or noticed their partner's behaviour was deteriorating they should seek help immediately.
He said no matter how trying people's circumstances were, there was never an excuse for family violence.
He said it was up to everybody in the community to prevent violence.
"If you observe any kind of violence then it's your responsibility - you have to act," he said. "The poor behaviour you walk past is the poor behaviour you accept."