It is easy to preach to women who are victims of domestic violence that they should come forward and report their abusive husbands or partners to the police and other authorities.

Easier said than done. If only the situation was so simple. Quite often these women and children (because that is who most victims are) are totally reliant on the abuser for their financial, physical and (occasionally) emotional support and love. Remember, the abuser is more often than not a very manipulative person, so they know how to make their victims feel guilty.

Read more: Home violence going unreported, say police

"Just walk away," is what most people who have never been in that situation would say, but if that was so easy, we would not have women beaten on a daily basis in this country.


Instead of being so judgmental, sometimes we need to find a way to help. We need to always bear in mind that it is never the victim's fault. Even the most irritating person does not deserve a beating from the person they have committed their lives to, or anyone else for that matter.

A story in today's paper shows that the relationship between offender and victim makes it difficult for victims to approach police.

Victims knew offenders in 79 per cent of the 102 acts intended to cause injury in June, according to police data published by Statistics New Zealand. This was 10 percentage points higher than the national average. In 45 cases the victim and offender were family. Detective Sergeant Daryl Moore, the officer in charge of the Hawke's Bay police family violence team, said relationships between victims and offenders made it difficult for victims to approach police.

It is up to us as a community to let victims know that they can come forward for help. And, most importantly, that they are not to blame.