5 Mar 2015

Bid to curb domestic violence rates

7:38 pm on 5 March 2015

Sturdy front doors, locks on windows and motion-activated alarms are among the home protection measures to be installed at the homes of women and children at risk of domestic violence.

Amy Adams

Amy Adams Photo: SUPPLIED

Justice Minister Amy Adams today announced the roll-out of the National Home Safety Service.

A three-year $3.6 million contract was awarded to the National Collective of Independent Women's Refuges to help boost security at about 400 homes each year.

Ms Adams said domestic violence rates in New Zealand were "appallingly high", with police receiving a call-out every six minutes.

She said many abused women were scared to report violence for fear of having to leave their homes.

The results of a pilot programme included no injuries following the security upgrade and improvements in sleep, self-confidence and depression of participating families.

Canterbury's Police Prevention Manager Inspector Richard Bruce said offenders could be deterred by the increased security.

Mr Bruce said while the service may reduce the frequency of domestic violence call-outs, violence should always be reported.

"The more people report it, the better for us - we know about it, we can react to it, we can look to prevent it, and we can work with families to keep them safe."