New research into anti violence campaigns in the Pacific shows neighbours and friends of victims are now speaking out and reporting more of their concerns to police.
The Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Programme funded by NZAID has been running for nearly five years and is being assessed by Victoria University researchers.
Programme Manager Cam Ronald from New Zealand Police says the surveys looked at changes in police attitude towards domestic violence and also the attitudes of the public to how police deal with the problem.
He says results from Tonga, the Cook Islands, Samoa and Kiribati are encouraging.
"One of the very positive changes that's been identified, and quite clearly in all four countries that were surveyed, was that many of the reports of domestic violence being made to the police and made to the non government organisations, like Women's Refuge and the support centres, are being made by neighbours and being made by friends, and that's a significant change."
Cam Ronald says more work needs to be done to change resistant attitudes of men aged around 45 both in the police force and the community who still believe domestic violence is better dealt with in a family way rather than seeking help.