Northland police have attended more than 5250 incidents of domestic violence in the first 10 months of this year- or an average of 17 a day.

Family violence co-ordinator for Northland, Senior Sergeant Marie Nordstrom, said figures showed at the end of October police had attended 5255 incidents of family violence in Northland - 17.2 incidents per day.

The numbers are a big jump compared to 2011 figures which showed there was a total of 3515 reports made in Northland in the 12 months to June 30, 2011.

Ms Nordstrom said reports were up about 20 per cent on previous years which showed that more people were speaking up.


She said an increase in public awareness after anti-violence campaigns such White Ribbon Day and It's Not Ok meant more people were choosing to raise the alarm when it came to domestic violence.

"We've seen more neighbours, members of the public and even victims have trust in the police and that's really encouraging.

"If you look at the SADD (students against drink driving), that's been around for 30 years and look at all the law changes that have been made surrounding drink driving. It's Not Ok [campaign] is only eight years old," she said.

The comments come after events in Kaitaia and Whangarei were held on Wednesday to mark White Ribbon Day - a day to encourage people to speak out about family violence.

Nationally, research showed about 20 per cent of domestic violence incidents were reported but reporting had increased 7 per cent per annum since 2012.

Te Puna O Te Aroha - Maori Women's Refuge senior case worker Nadene Devonshire has been working in family violence for about 22 years. She said she had noticed a lot of changes over the years including victims becoming more trusting of police and case workers.

"Police notify us and we're able to speak to the victims not long after. Victims are told everything is confidential. I've seen women are starting to use more protection orders. More neighbours are phoning in and other family members," she said.

Ms Devonshire credits the change to a shift in attitude towards family violence.


She said about this time of the year Te Puna O Te Aroha was busier than usual in the lead-up to Christmas as the "pressure was on".

Statistics show New Zealand has the highest rate of intimate partner violence in the OECD and on average police respond to a family violence incident every five minutes.

Nationwide, 41 per cent of frontline police response is due to family violence. More than 3500 convictions are recorded against men each year for assaults on women, 14 women a year are killed by partners or ex-partners and 47 per cent of all homicides are family violence related.