A major campaign to keep children safe in their homes has launched this month, dubbed 'Angel Month'.
Organiser, Family Works Northern, is calling for more 'guardian angels' to donate to Family Works social services for children and their families, including counselling and parenting programmes.
Tauranga Moana Abuse Prevention (TMAPS) community family violence response coordinator Heather Beddie was "absolutely passionate" about seeing family violence removed from the local community.
Based at the Hillier Centre with Family Works she was well aware of family violence as a major issue in the community.
She believed the solution lay in the community taking responsibility and dispelling the myths which surrounded it.
"As a community we need to take ownership, work together and come back to valuing our neighbours. Without intervention in families, nothing changes and children live in many of these families."
She was a strong advocate for children affected by family violence.
"Children are our most precious gift and if we have to speak out to protect them, then we must do so. Children prosper when they are in safe homes, without violence."
Family Works services were partially government-funded but demand meant there was a funding shortfall. That was expected to reach nearly $564,000 this year in the Bay of Plenty alone.
Family Works also had a strong partnership with the upcoming White Ribbon campaign, which addressed the issue of family violence by encouraging communities to make it unacceptable. Ms Beddie said she was looking forward to another big response this year.
"The White Ribbon campaign helps to bring awareness of the endemic rates of violence against our women and children and challenges men to step up...It's always encouraging to see hundreds of men, women and children saying no to family violence."
The focus for this year was on targeting a wider audience, including young people as well as other minority groups who were silenced by violence.
She said her commitment to the cause was inspired by the equally passionate people who she worked alongside at Family Works which made her optimistic for positive change.
"As a community we can do this together. Ending violence toward women and our children won't happen overnight. We know that most people want to help, they are just not sure how to. Asking things like: Are you OK? Is someone hurting you? Can I help? Are all great ways to begin but please, call 111 if you think someone is in danger," she said.