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Police urge families to seek help after spike in domestics

Police urge families under pressure to seek help after spike in Waikato domestics

Waikato, 19 December 2013 - Christmas- its a time for celebrating, spending time with family and friends and giving, well that's how things are supposed to go but Waikato Police say in far too many cases the good cheer quickly lapses and turns instead into domestic violence.

District Manager for Victims and Families, Senior Sergeant Pete Simpson, said since 01 December Waikato Police have attended 325 domestic violence related incidents, 200 of which were in Hamilton.

"Over the past couple of weeks our staff have been called from one domestic incident to another as higher temperatures, financial pressure, increased consumption of alcohol and teenagers being on study leave and school holidays combine to create a volatile mix.

"Yesterday was described as a quiet day but despite this, early in the morning officers went to a Chartwell address and ended up arresting one young woman who had been drinking in breach of her home detention conditions, who was arguing with her mother."

Mr Simpson said day shift staff then dealt with a couple arguing at the intersection of Anglesea and Liverpool Streets, while late shift officers answered several calls from the public about annoying youths on Killarney Rd.

On investigating and taking the youths home they found one had already been fighting there, earlier in the day.

"Then shortly before 4pm members of the Waikato Armed Offenders Squad joined with the Huntly and the Auckland based Police Eagle helicopter after reports of a male assaulting a woman at a rural address in Te Hoe.

"Firearms were said to be located at the address and the scene was secured however the victim would not cooperate with Police so officers issued a Police Safety Order against a 45-year-old gang member arrested at the property."

Mr Simpson said though varying in intensity, these were not isolated incidents.

"Monday last week saw our staff deal with a woman in Frankton threatening to harm herself and a four year-old child, a man in Gordonton smashing windows while children and a firearm were present, and a man in Nawton threatening his ex-partner and Police with a firearm.

"All of these incidents are examples of people under pressure. What Police are urging is that before it all gets too much, walk away, talk to someone and seek help."

There are a number of agencies available to assist people at risk of domestic violence and 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/, www.familyservices.govt.nz/directory/searchprovidepublic.htm, www.justice.govt.nz/courts/family-court/publications/pamphlets/domestic-violence-information-on-protection-orders

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.

Mr Simpson said a key thing for agencies dealing with domestic violence is for people who know that something bad is happening, 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.

"Unfortunately, with people having more time off and living on top of one another over the summer holidays, tensions can rise and adding alcohol can be a dangerous mix. What we ask people to think about is ways of managing the stresses of Christmas."

ENDS

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