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

Stark reality of figures revealed - close to home

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Just under 115,000 people live in Tauranga. Imagine if every one of those people was the victim of family violence.

Imagine if every five minutes, the police were called in Tauranga because someone was beaten, tormented, bullied, tortured, abused or savaged in their home, by someone supposed to love and care for them.

While this scenario is imaginary, the statistics are real.

Last year police in New Zealand attended about 105,000 family violence callouts. If each of those incidents was represented by a person, that is getting close to the population of Tauranga. If you were to bump up that number by 80 per cent - to reflect the number of incidents estimated to go unreported each year - you reach 525,000. That is almost four times Tauranga's population.

That is a third of our female population.

New Zealand has the worst rate of family violence in the developed world.

Nobody can say categorically why family violence is so prevalent in New Zealand, but everyone agrees that it needs to stop.

"It is by far our biggest crime type ... We have a problem," said Superintendent Tusha Penny, the police national crime prevention manager.

- NZME

- Rotorua Daily Post

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