Police have released more figures on family violence after new legislation was introduced in December to curb the number of incidents in New Zealand - and they are shocking.

This morning the Herald revealed police had charged almost five people a day with strangling or suffocating their partners since a new family violence law came into force criminalising such acts on December 3.

Now it has emerged that in the same period, the number of people charged with the new offence of assaulting a family member has reached more than 1580.

The total was 1582 as of Monday - around 19 charges a day across New Zealand.


The third new charge introduced was forced marriage.

No one has been charged with that offence to date.

New Zealand has the worst rate of family and intimate-partner violence in the developed - and sadly more than 80 per cent of incidents go unreported.

In a bid to curb family violence, new legislation including the three new offences, was
introduced to make strangulation and suffocation a criminal offence.

Previously there was no separate offence for strangulation or assaulting a family member.

Instead, those offence were treated as standard assaults.

The change was part of the Family Violence Amendment Act, replacing the Domestic Violence Act.

Police harm reduction manager Inspector Fleur de Bes said family violence was a "significant" issue for all New Zealanders.


"With police attending one family violence episode every four minutes - based on 2018 figures, this means that it is likely that someone you know will be affected," she said.

"The seriousness of this crime has most recently been highlighted by the significant volume of strangulation offences that have been identified by police since the new strangulation offence was introduced on December 3.

"Police have filed an average of 33 strangulation charges before the Court each week.

"This is a shocking statistic."


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:
• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• Women's Refuge: Free national crisis line operates 24/7 - 0800 refuge or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and Middle Eastern women and their children. Crisis line 24/7 0800 742 584
• It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450 www.areyouok.org.nz