Police call on communities to 'take action' against family harm

Police report a spike in family harm call-outs over Christmas.

Police report a spike in family harm call-outs over Christmas.

Police are urging friends and family to stand up and take action against family harm, as the number of Christmas incidents surge.

Police attended 38 family harm incidents in a 24-hour period this week in Canterbury. 

Police family violence, youth and victims services manager, Inspector Glenn Nalder, said family harm remained one of the biggest concerns for police in Canterbury.

He estimated they would respond to over 1000 family harm incidents in December. 

"If family harm is happening in your family and whanau, then take action. Get help for yourself ... even if you're the one doing the harm."

Nalder said family and whanau must not look the other way when things went awry. The signs of abuse could be insidious or covert.

"Everyone has a responsibility and a part to play."

More than 110,000 family violence investigations were recorded by police across New Zealand in 2015, an eight per cent increase on the previous year.

A common theme running through all reported incidents at Christmas was alcohol. The message from police was simple.

"Drink responsibly and limit alcohol intake. As adults, have a think about what you might be modelling for your children. What you're doing today, they might be doing in five or ten years time. We have a responsibility to help break that cycle."

Ad Feedback

Financial pressures in the lead up to Christmas played a part.

"It can be a difficult time of year. If you think it's taking its toll the message is to get help early. It's OK to ask for help."

Earlier this year, the first Integrated Safety Response (ISR) pilot was launched in Canterbury to address family violence.

The "collective response model" pulled together several government agencies, including Police, Child Youth and Family and Corrections, with specialist family violence NGOs.

As of November 29, 3673 "episodes" had been recorded through the ISR in Christchurch.

Nalder said the pilot was in its early days, but it was hoped it would help reduce Canterbury's family harm statistics and break troubling cycles of re-victimisation.

ISR executive director Leanne McSkimming said the new approach meant agencies were more connected in the support that was provided.

"It is focussed on family and whanau so it is very much about addressing and supporting the whole family's needs, as opposed to just victims or just perpetrators."

Family violence service, Aviva, would operate throughout the holiday period.

Aviva marketing and funding manager Julie McCloy​ said December was generally busier for police, as people who were involved in or witnessed violent situations looked to seek an immediate crisis response.

McCloy said demand would increase well into the new year.

"Infact, the real spike in demand for our agency is at the end of the holidays, and March is our busiest month ... every year.

"Families often try to hold things together throughout the holidays, but once they are over that is when people seek to make a change. This is where the true fallout of Christmas occurs and the financial pressures that have built up then have to be addressed."

Family harm providers:

  • ​Are You OK? For information about family violence, what it is and where to get help.
  • Family Violence Information Line (0800 456 450)
    Provides self-help information and connects people to services where appropriate. It is available seven days a week, from 9am to 11pm, with an after-hours message redirecting callers in the case of an emergency.

  • Child, Youth and Family
    Phone 0508 FAMILY (0508 326 459) if you are concerned about a child or young person.

  • Women's Refuge
    Phone 0800 REFUGE (733 843) or look in the White pages of the phone book for your local refuge.

  • Shine 'Making homes violence free in NZ'
    Free helpline 0508 744 633 provides information to victims of family violence and to those worried about a friend or family member who might be experiencing family violence.

  • National Network of Stopping Violence is a network of community organisations working to end men's violence to women and children across New Zealand.
    To find your nearest office visit the National Network of Stopping Violence website.

  • Community Law Centres are located throughout the country – look in the White pages of your phone book.

  • Victim Support groups are located throughout the country – look in the White pages of your phone book.

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers

Persian fable becomes children's book

Alemi illustrated the book himself, in a style that is distinctive Persian style.

"Home is where the heart is, and my daughter is my heart," book creator Ardi Alemi said.

Sport: Arise Dame Valerie Adams

Dame Valerie Adams at her investiture ceremony at Government House in Auckland.

Valerie Adams hopes her damehood will inspire Pacific peoples to great deeds.

Couple wins $60k wedding

The couple married on April 20 at Matakana's Plume Restaurant.

Mark and Shani's heartfelt love story won them the most magical wedding.

Swanky Shore mall lures designers

The Milford Shopping Centre will have 20 new shops added and will be refurbished to feel light and open.

Milford's boutique shopping mall on Auckland's North Shore aims to attract Kiwi fashion designers - and build luxury apartments upstairs.


Transmission Gully sneak peek video

The 27-kilometre, four-lane motorway will run inland between Wellington northern suburbs and Paekakariki on the Kapiti ...

After two million man hours, the highway north of Wellington still isn't halfway built.

Broadhurst quits rugby

James Broadhurst made his test debut for the All Blacks in their 2015 Rugby Championship test against South Africa in ...

One-test All Black hangs up boots after struggling to recover from concussion.

Twin fires shock town

The backyard of Corrinne Oliver's home in Mauriceville. In the foreground is her daughter Chance's Yamaha motorbike.

Good neighbour tried to help a stranger after a fire. It cost her her home.

Return of the cluster flies

Cluster fly larvae have had perfect conditions with the wet warm weather recently, and many people are finding the flies ...

It sounds like a horror movie plot - swarms of cluster flies besieging North Island homes.


CBD precincts rising

The ANZ Centre offers shops, a cafe called Arbo and an espresso and wine bar, Arborista.

Goodbye empty lots, derelict buildings and road cones - hello Melbourne-style vibe.

Caged egg farm sold

Over the years Mainland has been the target of animal rights activists for its caged birds.

They sell a third of all eggs produced in NZ and they've sold up to the Aussies.

Hospitality a 'ruthless' game

Smash Palace owner Johnny Moore says it's not easy to start a hospitality business from scratch.

OPINION: The best way to start a Christchurch bar or cafe is to buy someone's broken dreams.

Shark bit tourist three times video

The French tourist arrives at Dunedin Hospital by helicopter after she was attacked by a shark while bodyboarding in ...

A shark had the legs of a bodyboarding tourist in its mouth during a surf spot attack.


Celebs in karst-studded landscape

Race Director Tim Day and Organiser Paul Charteris on the trail.

TV presenters Sam Hayes and Mike 'action man' McRoberts prepare for Waitomo trail run.

Cyclist versus car

The crash happened around 5pm.

A cyclist is in a critical condition, following a crash in Morrinsville.

Guilty plea over baby car death

Isaiah died at his grandparents home in Ruatoki, Bay of Plenty on November 2015 when he was left in a vehicle for ...

Eight-month-old Isaiah Neil was left by his parents in a car, in the hot sun for hours.

Thieves target soldiers' graves

Raymond Bedford's family, daughter Judy Fleming, left, great grandson Josh Fleming, granddaughter Kathy Fleming and ...

More than a dozen plaques have been targeted for scrap.


Passport missing after giveaway

American Alice Glasser lost her passport when she gave away her backpack and other possessions on the side of New ...

An act of kindness by American woman living in New Plymouth backfired when she left her passport in items she gave away.

Bar owner punched

A barman has allegedly been assaulted at New Plymouth's Treehouse Bar and Bistro.

Police are looking for a man who allegedly assaulted a barman in New Plymouth.

Dman and Ironman

Dinnie Moeahu aims to complete the Taupo Ironman on March 3,  2018.

He may hate running, but that won't stop Dinnie Moeahu becoming an Ironman.

Fired after beating co-worker

Tansley Ratapu lost his job and earned a criminal conviction when he appeared in the New Plymouth District Court after ...

Petrol station worker saw red and lashed out after his workmate took too long with the tills.


Work begins on slip video

Work began on the larger of the two slips in the Manawatu Gorge, on Thursday.

Work has finally begun to clear the large slip blocking the Manawatu Gorge.

Motorcyclist dies

A man is dead following a motorcycle and tractor crash in Manawatu.

A man is dead after the motorcycle he was riding collided with a tractor in Manawatu.

Copycat inmates increase threats

Manawatu Prison has been on the receiving end of 12 bomb threats in the past five years.

Manawatu Prison received the highest amount of bomb threats out of any prison.

A slushy success video

There's been plenty of water on the ice rink's surface.

Water on Palmerston North's ice rink doesn't put off thousands of skaters.


Anna Coddington back in Nelson

Anna Coddington

Juggling a career and kids requires stamina and planning, says the Kiwi songstress.

Power restored to Mapua

Jellyfish Cafe and Bar owner Debbie Lavery puts a closed sign on the popular venue because of the power failure in Mapua ...

Power has been restored to Mapua after a widespread outage caused some businesses to close early on Thursday.

Ready, jet, go

Alan Caudwell with his Aero Vodochody L-39C Albatros jet.

Is there something missing in your life? Say a jet capable of getting up to 750kmh?

Teen tunes up vege-fuelled car video


Nelson College student Neil MacMillan uses cooking oil from the ...

Neil MacMillan was 10 when he came up with plans for a plant-powered car. Now it's a reality.


Share and share alike

Making use of the Redwoodtown School playground in the holidays are, from left, Cameron Park, 7, Ethan Mills, 7 and ...

School playgrounds could get massive increase in funding, on one condition.

Prison isn't working

Jason Goldsworthy has had 491 convictions in the past 25 years. (File photo)

After clocking up nearly 500 convictions, he arrived at court expecting his 20th stint in jail. But the judge had other plans.

Sauvignon HQ opens

Wine Marlborough staff, from left, Nicolette Prendergast, Marcus Pickens, Georgie Leach, and Harriet Wadworth in front ...

Converted shipping container to act as hub in lead up to International Sauvignon Blanc Day.

Netballers poised for lift off

The all-conquering Harlequins Radich Law netball team celebrate following their 2016 premier final victory. With changes ...

The winds of change have blown through Marlborough's premier netball scene.

South Canterbury

'Negotiate or face another strike'

Support workers Nicola Johns and Debs Crowe gathered on Theodosia St, near The Bay Hill, to protest against stagnant pay ...

Protesting support staff give employer two options - start bargaining, or face another strike.

Westpac admits issues

The Westpac ATM, the ony one in Fairlie, which has broken down again this week.

Westpac admits service in Fairlie not up to scratch following complaints over ATM.

SCDHB emergency plans tested

SCDHB staff during the major incident program pictured were from left registered nurse Carla McFarlene and radiographer ...

DHB staff put through paces in plane crash scenario involving large influx of patients.

'Mindless acts of damage' costly

A heat pump was pushed off the roof of Twizel Area School.

Vandalism at Twizel Area School could cost thousands to repair.


Shark attack video

The French tourist arrives at Dunedin Hospital by helicopter after she was attacked by a shark while bodyboarding in ...

A surfer has been attacked by a shark at a beach in the Catlins in Southland.

Struggle after shooting

Ben and Verity McLean.

Families say they're humbled by the outpouring of support and compassion.

Deputy mayor resigns

Cr Darren Ludlow.

Darren Ludlow has resigned as deputy mayor of Invercargill.

SDHB propose axing 23 jobs

Southern DHB chief executive Chris Fleming.

"There will be some people very positive about what we're proposing, and there will be some negativity."

Ad Feedback