AS THE court reporter it often feels a bit like deja vu looking at the list of names of those appearing before the judge on any given day.
Names of certain drink-drivers, burglars and shoplifters regularly appear - but the most frightening thing that stands out are those appearing time and again for domestic violence.
They use knives, fists and anything else they can get their hands on to inflict pain on the person they have declared their love for. They even beat pregnant partners or hit them in front of their kids.
In her column yesterday, Adrienne Staples commented that family violence is the cancer of society and I must agree with her.
It infiltrates far too many homes, in many cases going on undetected as women hide the shame and bruises behind closed doors.
The trouble is domestic violence has far-reaching consequences, extending across generations; from the child curled up under the blankets listening to their mother being beaten up to the son who has grown into the man behind the fists being thrown around or the daughter who has grown to accept violence is just part and parcel of being a wife. The cycle goes on.
Stopping Violence Services Wairarapa Stop does an incredible job offering programmes for those who want to rid themselves of the chains of violence.
But sadly our domestic violence figures have risen with Wairarapa leading the way on many fronts from people committing the violence to agencies working together to rid our community of this crime.
At the end of the day though, it is families, friends and neighbours who can have the biggest impact. We have to stand united on this or this illness will continue to breed in our homes. It can no longer be the hidden thing we don't talk about.
The tide of accepting domestic violence is turning and it is no longer acceptable. But honestly, how can someone say they love someone and then hurt that person?
When you love someone, the last thing you want to see is pain and heartache on their face. Don't mistake control for love because there is a huge difference.
Only you can stop domestic violence. Let's not let our children think it is okay to get what we want through abuse.
It's time for it to stop.