Editorial: Returning power to people

By Linda Hall

What a terrible decision to have to make - taking a protection order out against a family member.

I imagine it's a bit like tough love, something you really don't want to do but feel you don't have a choice.

And according to Detective Sergeant Darren Pritchard, head of the Hastings Family Violence team, more people are doing it.

He says protection orders are designed to give the power back to the people at risk, but don't necessarily mean keeping people apart.

He has noticed an increase in applications for protection orders in non-intimate relationships, including mother-and-son type scenarios such as the story from today's front page.

Although the mother in today's story felt it hadn't helped her much, to me it's a positive. If people feel unsafe they must take action.

It's great that the message family violence (or any kind of violence for that matter) is not okay is finally getting out there.

And while we all know that protection orders don't always solve the problem I imagine it would give the person taking it out at least a small sense of safety knowing that if need be, they can call for help.

Mr Pritchard says that campaigns have played a huge part in getting the message out there.

We as a community need to play our part as well.

If you know someone who is having trouble, talk to them, if you see a neighbour hurting someone, tell on them. You are not being a nark ... who knows you might just save someone's life.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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