Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Family violence: We can, and must, do better than this NZ

New Zealand has the worst rate of family and intimate-partner violence in the world. Eighty per cent of incidents go unreported — so what we know of family violence in our community is barely the tip of the iceberg. Today is part five of We’re Better Than This, a week-long series on family violence. Our aim is to raise awareness, to educate, to give an insight into the victims and perpetrators. We want to encourage victims to have the strength to speak out, and abusers the courage to change their behaviour.

On Saturday the Herald launched the campaign We're Better Than This, focusing on New Zealand's biggest social issue - family violence.

Today we launch our official campaign video, with well-known Kiwis sharing our message.

Our message is simple. We can, and must, do better than this New Zealand.

Victims - you deserve better. Abusers - you need to be better. And every one of us can do better when it comes to looking out for our friends, neighbours, colleagues and even strangers.

We asked high-profile New Zealanders to help us spread the message. They, like us, are calling on everyone to do their part to reduce and prevent family violence.

The We're Better Than This campaign is about raising awareness around family violence by taking an in-depth look at the issues, the victims, perpetrators and solutions.

Police attended 105,000 family violence incidents last year. On average, they took a call for help every five minutes - about 279 each day. That's almost 300 times a day a New Zealander feels unsafe, threatened or in danger in their own home.

We have spoken to women and men who have been subjected to abuse, physical, psychological and emotional.

We have heard from men who abused their wives and partners, who gave us an insight into why they lashed out and what made them change.

New Zealand has the worst rate of family violence in the developed world and each year it costs us up to $7 billion.

A large proportion of family violence is inflicted by intimate partners, and by adults abusing and neglecting children. While men are certainly among the victims, it is predominantly women who bear the brunt of this abuse.

Please take the time to watch and share our message.

Let's all do better together.

We'd like to thank the following people for sharing our message and using their voice and influence to help change the way New Zealanders think about family violence.

In order of appearance:

• Judy Bailey, broadcaster and Women's Refuge ambassador
• Ryan Hoffman, captain of the New Zealand Warriors
• Stacey Morrison, television personality and The Hits co-host
• Sela Alo, Flava FM Breakfast co-host
• Toni Street, Seven Sharp and The Hits co-host
• Commissioner Mike Bush, NZ Police
• Erin Simpson, television personality
• Michael Boggs, chief executive officer NZME, publisher of the Herald
• Joseph Parker, champion boxer
• Pua Magasiva, Flava FM Breakfast co-host and Shortland Street actor
• Mai Chen, managing partner Chen Palmer Public and Employment Law Specialists
• Police Minister Judith Collins


• Developed by Anna Leask and Chris Marriner
• Script by Anna Leask
• Filmed by Mark Mitchell, Dean Purcell, Michael Craig, Brett Phibbs, Nick Reed, Doug Sherring, the Labour Party, Duco Events
• Video produced by Ash Boyd

If you're in danger NOW:

• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours or friends to ring for you
• Run outside and head for where there are other people
• Scream for help so your neighbours can hear you
• Take the children with you
• Don't stop to get anything else
• If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault. Violence is never okay

Where to go for help or more information:

• Women's Refuge: Free national crisisline operates 24/7 - 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843
• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633
• It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and Middle Eastern women and their children. Crisisline 24/7 0800 742 584
• Ministry of Justice:
• National Network of Stopping Violence:
• White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men's violence towards women, focusing this year on sexual violence and the issue of consent.

How to hide your visit

If you are reading this information on the Herald website and you're worried that someone using the same computer will find out what you've been looking at, you can follow the steps at the link here to hide your visit. Each of the websites above also have a section that outlines this process.

Take a stand - NZ is #BetterThanThis

Change your social media profile picture to demand that we are better than this. Right-click on this image below (or press and hold on your mobile device) to save, then upload to your social profiles. Or you can download the image here.

- NZ Herald

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