Qld DV hotline 'out of control' in 2016
For most of us, the new year means picking up the phone and calling your loved ones.
But for many Queensland women, there's a different call to be made - one to DV Connect's domestic violence hotline.
In the first four days of 2016, the telephone service has been swamped with an unprecedented 2022 calls.
Chief executive Di Mangan says the surge has left the organisation's staff stunned.
"It's absolutely out of control," she told AAP.
"We've never seen anything that high."
She said an enormous 775 calls were made to the hotline on Saturday, far exceeding the 360-400 daily average.
The increase could be partly attributed to greater media coverage of the issue last year, Ms Mangan said.
The blight of family violence was brought into sharp focus in September, when a series of attacks saw two women and a six-year-old girl killed, with others attacked and injured.
Since then, a parliamentary committee has said almost half of all homicides in Queensland in the past eight years have been linked to domestic violence.
Notably, Ms Mangan said not all the calls are first-timers as more abused women felt compelled to seek help.
But with more callers, come more delays.
"It's important the women know that we will always help them," Ms Mangan stressed.
"If you can't get through, hang on."
*Readers seeking assistance can call DV Connect on 1800 811 811.