Police attend a call for help from a victim of family harm every 4.9 minutes in New Zealand - and one officer knows all too well how serious the issue is.
Sergeant Tania Kingi will speak tomorrow at the annual White Ribbon Day breakfast at Police National Headquarters about her personal experience growing up in a violent home.
"Coming from a violent home myself I have seen the devastating effects it had, and is still having on my family," she said.
"I get that it can be a challenge to leave because my mum tried numerous times before she finally got away from my dad.
"I know personally that it's not just as simple as walking out the door it's far more complicated and I understand that these challenges can stop people from asking for help."
She revealed that her choice of career was a direct result of her childhood.
"The reason I became a police officer was because the police saved my mother's life and protected my sisters and I from my violent father," she said.
"Everyone in those types of situations deserve to be saved."
Kingi wanted to use her experience to help others.
"I urge anyone in a violent situation to let the police help you like they helped me, it's not only your life but the lives of your children that it affects.
"I wouldn't wish my story on anyone, please ask for help today," she said.
According to police, each year approximately 3500 convictions are recorded against men, for assaults on women.
On average 14 women a year are killed by their partners.
Police attend over 100,000 events of family violence a year, which is 299 each day or one every 4.9 minutes.
"Family violence can happen to anyone regardless of gender, age, socio-economic group or personal circumstances," said a police spokesperson.
"It occurs in every demographic and every member of our staff has seen the damage done."
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 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450 www.areyouok.org.nz
• 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: www.justice.govt.nz/family-justice/domestic-violence
• National Network of Stopping Violence: www.nnsvs.org.nz
• White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men's violence towards women, focusing this year on sexual violence and the issue of consent. www.whiteribbon.org.nz
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