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Waikato Police urge people to speak out on domestic violence

Waikato Police dealing with domestic violence over summer urge people to speak out, not turn a blind eye

The start of a new year, it's a time for celebrating and spending time with family and friends, well that's how things are supposed to go but Waikato Police say in far too many cases, the good cheer quickly turns into domestic violence.

District Prevention Manager, Inspector Rob Lindsay, said since Christmas Day, Waikato Police attended 174 domestic violence related incidents.

93 of these were in Hamilton while 81 happened in smaller towns and rural locations.

"The one thing about domestic violence that really stands out is it doesn't discriminate, you can be rich or poor it makes no difference because when the pressure builds up people from all walks of life can become victims.

"The trick is to watch for the signs and if you feel pressure starting to build walk away. If you feel concerned for your own safety or those of others- speak out and seek help."

Over the last week Police have been called from one domestic incident to another as higher temperatures, financial pressure, increased consumption of alcohol and children being on holidays combine to create a volatile mix.

"And the reality is, when people start waking up from last night's welcoming in of the New Year, it is likely to start all over again.

"To prevent issues occurring we're asking people to consider how much they are drinking and if they might not be better off dong more constructive activities."

Mr Lindsay said this time of year can be particularly stressful in terms of trying to make ends meet with bills coming in for spending in the build up to Christmas and people spending a lot more time living on top of one another.

"A key thing for agencies dealing with domestic violence is for people who know that something bad is happening to not turn a blind eye, they need to speak up.

"The risks are too great to not do anything. If you can't call Police directly you have the perfect alternative, you can leave information anonymously by calling the independent Crimestoppers on 0800 555111."

Some advice Police ask the public to consider includes;

1. Watch your spending, over-spending often leads to pressure when the bills mount up

2. Take time out, sometimes with all the family in each others hair it's necessary to take a breather

3. Set a budget and stick to it- a key factor in making it through the summer

4. Ease up on the alcohol, alcohol is a major contributing factor to violence, pace yourself- don't blow your cool and look like a fool

5. Don't spend all your time on top of one another- plan activities that give you breathing space and identify areas or issues likely to cause pressure

6. Seek advice- various agencies offer assistance on relationships, budgeting and managing stress, take advantage of them

7. Any person being subject to, or living in fear of domestic violence should contact Police. Alternatively they can also call Women’s Refuge: (07) 8551569 or 0800 REFUGE (733 843) or the Are You OK Information Line: 0800 456 450. More information can be found at websites such as;

www.areyouok.org.nz/ [1],

www.familyservices.govt.nz/directory/searchprovidepublic.htm [2] ,

www.justice.govt.nz/courts/family-court/publications/pamphlets/domestic-violence-information-on-protection-orders [3]

For those seeking help in the Eastern Waikato (Thames, Coromandel, Hauraki, Matamata-Piako) call Te Whariki Manawahine O Hauraki/ Women's Refuge on 07 868 3132

In Hamilton contact Te Whakaruruhau/ Women's Refuge on 07 855 1569

In the South Western Waikato/ King Country (Waitomo, Waipa, Kawhia) contact the Waitomo-Waipa Women's refuge on 07 878 5081 or 0800 155799

For those in the North Waikato (Huntly, Ngaruawahia and Te Kauwhata) contact Te Whakaruruhau on 07 855 1569.

If you are a victim of sexual assault or rape, in an emergency dial 111. Support is also available from the Rape and Sexual Abuse Healing Centre on 07 839 4433 or 0800 839 4433.

Male victims of sexual abuse are encouraged to contact the Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust Waikato (MSSAT) on 0800 677 289.

End

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