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 the final day 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.

This week on nzherald.co.nz we launched a We're Better Than This campaign video featuring well known New Zealanders.

The video was part of our week-long series about family violence and featured broadcasters Judy Bailey and Toni Street, Police Commissioner Mike Bush, Police Minister Judith Collins, Labour Leader Andrew Little, Warriors captain Ryan Hoffman, champion boxer Joseph Parker, Shortland Street actor Pua Magasiva and his Flava Breakfast co-host Sela Alo, The Hits co-host Stacey Morrison, lawyer Mai Chen, television personality Erin Simpson and Michael Boggs, the chief executive of NZME, publisher of the Herald.

A number of high profile Kiwis also shared personal written messages about family violence.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush

The number of women and children who continue to experience violence in New Zealand is unacceptable. On average police respond to a family violence incident every 5 minutes.

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In over 60% of family violence related police investigations, children are witnessing family violence. The tragic reality is that these children grow up learning that it's okay to hurt other people or let other people hurt them.

Police are committed to prevention and early intervention to break this heartbreaking cycle; however, this requires a whole of community effort. We know that most men are not violent. But the vast majority of acts of violence against women are perpetrated by men. We need to create a culture where violence against women is never trivialised or encouraged - and that means we all have a role to play in changing society's attitudes.
If you or anyone you know is a victim of violence, talk to police or someone who can help.

Police MInister Judith Collins

Police attend 100,000 Family Violence events per year, that's almost 300 every single day. It accounts for a staggering 41 per cent of frontline Police response time.

It's an epidemic and there is no point pretending otherwise.

It is terrifying for all who are affected by it especially children.

Every single child deserves to feel safe at home. But too many children in New Zealand are growing up in homes where violence is the norm.

They're the ones who Police find hanging around parks and bus stops late at night because it's preferable to being at home.

These kids are seeing things that no child should have to witness, like the brothers who saw Police taser their father because that was the only way to stop him punching their mother in the head.

Chances are those brothers will themselves become perpetrators of family violence. It's a tragedy and as a country we need to stand up against it.


Labour Leader Andrew Little

I witnessed the devastating and lifelong impact of domestic and sexual violence first-hand about 20 years ago when I represented a sexual abuse victim as a young lawyer in Wellington. The case ended up in mediation. When my client's perpetrator entered the room, she recoiled and instinctively curled up into a foetal position. Even after he'd left the room, she was inconsolable for an hour.