Women with "smashed up" faces and teeth kicked in - strangled, stomped on and brutalised.
These are just some of the countless horrific cases Tauranga Women's Refuge manager Hazel Hape has witnessed this holiday season - and she's sick of the appalling violence being meted out in the family home.
"I don't know what the hell is wrong with this town, the level of violence against women is just f****** unacceptable.
"We have seen some horrific injuries being sustained towards women."
Police say there were more callouts on average this holiday season than last year, however, Hape notes not every victim of domestic violence calls the police.
Through the holiday season, the refuge had supported a woman who was knocked unconscious, then had her head stomped on - in public.
It's along with other women who stayed in the safe houses with "smashed up" faces and their teeth kicked out, Hape said.
"It's been really overwhelming, it's been challenging, it's been frustrating that women continue to be treated as chattels ... based on what we have been dealing with, the brutalisation of women and children, this bull**** has to stop and we are sick and tired of the catchcry of saying this every year."
The year had been hard, and although the need for the refuge was not as high as anticipated during the Covid-19 lockdown, it picked up in the latter half of the year due to people struggling with unemployment, anxiety, and inability to afford food, Hape said.
"They're contributing factors only because I maintain that someone chooses to hit the s*** out of somebody.
"September, October, November has been very busy in the Covid-19 space but over Christmas, we were very busy."
She said the holiday season was always busy with the influx of visitors to the Bay.
"When people are on holiday you think they would focus on family wellbeing, being healthy, thriving enjoying the weather and their loved ones but it all just hits the fan and it has been eerie responding to all of these cases."
Hape made a note of campaigns and laws that have changed over her 17 years working in the space, but questions why violence is still prevalent in the communities.
"They are still being brutalised, they are still be strangled.
"What are we up to? Why do we have women that still have their heads stomped on, literally."
District prevention manager Inspector Steve Bullock said the summer period could be challenging for some families.
"Sadly while many of us look forward to it, for others this time of year only brings a sense of dread.
"Financial and family stress, often combined with the consumption of alcohol, can contribute to an increase in family harm incidents."
Police generally receive more calls to this type of incident over the holiday period, Bullock said.
Across the Western Bay of Plenty, police attended 100 family harm incidents between 7am on December 31 and 7am on January 5.
In comparison, in the second half of 2019 police attended about 111 family harm incidents per week on average – so this five-day period saw an increase on that average, Bullock said.
"Bay of Plenty police work actively with victims and partner agencies to ensure suitable support and safety plans are in place for families and individuals known or identified to be at risk.
"We also plan to make sure we have enough staff available for deployment at this time of the year, so they can respond to those who need help."
Bullock believed family violence remained a complicated issue that needed help from all angles.
"[It] can only be improved by all government, NGOs [non-government organisations], community and iwi groups working together to solve the often inherent social and historic issues that exist in our communities."
While Bullock reiterated that family violence was not okay, it was okay to ask for help and he encouraged anyone who feared for their own or someone else's safety to dial 111.
"Your call could save a life."
Where to get help:
• If it's an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
• If you've ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone call the confidential crisis helpline Safe to Talk on: 0800 044 334 or text 4334.
• Alternatively contact your local police station
• If you have been abused, remember it's not your fault.
Where to get help:
• 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP) (available 24/7)
• YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633
• NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
• KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757 or TEXT 4202
• NATIONAL ANXIETY 24 HR HELPLINE: 0800 269 4389
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - DO YOU NEED HELP?
If it's an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
If you're in danger now:
• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you.
• Run outside and head for where there are other people.
• Scream for help so that 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 crisis line 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. Crisis line 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
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
to hide your visit. Each of the websites above also have a section that outlines this process.