29 Dec 2018

Family violence call-outs double over holidays

10:55 am on 29 December 2018

Family violence call-outs in Hawke's Bay can double over the holiday period, police say.

domestic violence, abuse

Photo: eakmoto/123RF

The region has one of the highest rates of family violence in the country, with police attending up to 120 domestic violence incidents a day over the Christmas break.

Senior Sergeant Greg Brown from Hawke's Bay Police said anyone experiencing violence, or anyone who has concerns for whānau, friends or neighbours, should not hesitate to call the police.

"We've had in the past where people say 'I didn't call because we thought you were busy'.

But he urged people to reach out to whoever is appropriate, including the police or refuge "so we can help that whānau become safer".

"Because we don't want to be in a situation wondering 'what if?'."

A police-led anti-violence programme being piloted in three areas will be rolled out to Hawke's Bay next year, as well as five other areas.

The programme, Whāngaia Ngā Pā Harakeke, has been trialled in Northland, Counties-Manukau and Gisborne.

It assigns families affected by violence their own personal police officer who connects them with social services.

Senior Sergeant Brown is the Whāngaia director in Hawke's Bay.

"It's been so successful in terms with working with whānau that a number of other areas want to adopt this model and obviously develop it according to their local needs," he said.

Southland, Dunedin, Wellington, Whanganui and Bay of Plenty have all expressed interest in using the programme to help reduce family violence.

Where to get help:

Women's Refuge: (0800 733 843)

It's Not OK (0800 456 450)

Shine: 0508 744 633

]http://www.victimsinfo.govt.nz/ Victim Support]: 0800 650 654

HELP Call 24/7 (Auckland): 09 623 1700, (Wellington): be 04 801 6655 - 0

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.