I once knew a cop who worked in the Bay of Plenty for several years then moved to a touristy part of the South Island.
A few months in, his biggest comment on the difference in policing the two regions was the lack of family harm callouts.
In the Bay of Plenty, dealing with domestic violence incidents was a daily part of the job.
But months into his new job, he had only been to one family harm callout.
The people involved were visiting from the Bay of Plenty.
This week, the Bay of Plenty Times and Rotorua Daily Post reported this region has the highest rate in New Zealand for family harm prosecutions.
Six go through our courts every day.
And that's just the ones that make it to prosecution. There were more than 13,000 investigations last year alone - 1000 more than the previous year.
One thousand extra times when people had cause to fear for the safety of themselves or someone else at the hands of a person they should be able to trust.
And those on the front line - police, health professionals, social workers - say the level of violence is getting worse. Nastier. More brutal.
Drugs, alcohol, stress and mental health barriers are all contributing factors in this trend.
A nurse says some children in this region are growing up with a "normalised" view of domestic violence, thanks to what they see at home.
That these shocking statistics could represent any sort of daily norm for anyone in our community - police officers, social workers, health professionals, children - is an outrage.
It is an indictment on our society and our community.
I think there is a view - conscious or unconscious - that high rates of family harm is some sort of inevitability in this region. Maybe it's our high deprivation rates. Or just that it feels like it's been going on like this for so long.
But it's not inevitable. We don't have to live with this - other places don't.
This is not a problem limited to any particular subset of our population.
Family violence is happening in your neighbourhood. It's happening in mine.
It's happening in the streets where you wouldn't walk alone at night and it's happening in the posh houses. It is happening to women and children, and to men.
Are more resources needed? Absolutely. Could Finance Minister Grant Robertson throw a chunk of his $7.5b surplus towards bolstering the services desperately trying to stem this ever-increasing flow and clean up the mess? Definitely.
But this is a community problem and we all have a role to play in changing a culture that accepts this horrific record as a norm in this region.
We are past this being a private issue, not to be spoken about for fear of looking nosey or insensitive.
It's okay to call the police or have a difficult conversation if you see or hear something that worries you - or if something is happening to you. Don't ignore it.
And it's okay to seek help, to try and change, if the violence comes from your hands.
We cannot let this be our normal.
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.