MONASH police believe tough economic conditions are contributing to family violence in the city.

Sergeant Jim Read of the Monash crime investigation unit said rising costs and retrenchments were hitting hard.

“Things are pretty tough for people out there and especially if they’ve got limited income and lots of rising outgoing costs.”

Recent crime statistics released by Victoria Police show that the number of reported family violence cases across the state jumped more than 25 per cent in the past financial year.

In Monash, the number of reported family violence cases remained steady at 92.

Wavecare psychologist Mary Burke said economic troubles were only one of the issues that led to family violence.

She said family violence had to do with the need to control one’s partner.

“It can be about controlling the money in the house, it can be controlling where your partner goes, who they talk to, when they can talk or when they can’t talk.

“It can be very subtle things that never show in physical violence, but my sense is that usually when there’s physical violence these other things are already present but not noticed so well.”

Ms Burke said money could be a trigger but was not the fundamental cause of violence.

Although men are the perpetrators in most family violence cases, a small number involve women as the aggressor.

This month a 21-year-old Clayton woman was charged with recklessly causing serious injury after allegedly biting her partner’s finger off during a domestic dispute.

Ms Burke said women’s acts of violence were sometimes self-defence mechanisms.

“Sometimes it could be that they’re overburdened either with excessive childcare or other responsibilities to the family that’s been left to them and not actually shared, so they get to the end of their tether.”