"Domestic violence causes far more pain than the visible marks of bruises and scars. It is devastating to be abused by someone that you love and think loves you in return." - Dianne Feinstein, US Senator for California
Violence stops our community being safe for everyone. In New Zealand, male violence against women is the most prolific. Ignoring family violence could result in serious injury or death. Nearly half of all homicides are related to family violence.
In the Rotorua policing area from July 1, 2012, to May 31, 2013, police staff attended 2408 family violence incidents, or about 50 every week. Of this 1612 (67 per cent) of the incidents were between intimate partners. Nine people are assaulted by their partners every week. What must always be remembered is these are the cases that the police know of.
Help prevent family violence because it is a crime. Do not consider it a private matter. People in violent relationships often cannot help themselves.
They need your help.
If you know someone who is the victim of family violence, you can help by listening and being supportive, ensuring that they and any children are safe and finding out what help is available in the community.
If you know someone who is violent, you can help them by telling them it is not okay and assisting them to find help. In my role, I have the privilege to work alongside an experienced group of professionals who deal with family violence issues in the Rotorua community. There is a real commitment by agencies to reduce family violence.
On November 16, the national launch of the White Ribbon Riders and Whanau Fun Day will held at the Village Green, Rotorua Lakefront, to raise awareness of violence.
If you need help, or know someone who does, call your local police station on (07) 348 0099 or Women's Refuge on (07) 349 0852. You can remain anonymous by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Remember to call 111 in an emergency. You can also learn more about family violence by going to www.areyouok.org.nz.
Detective Chris Nairn is the Rotorua police family violence co-ordinator.