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Seventh Year Of Donations For Violence Victims

Seventh Year Of Donations For Domestic Violence Victims

New Zealand Police National News Release
9:28am 13 December 2006

It was seven years ago that dispatcher Jacqui Keith took a 111 call which left her in tears and prompted her to "do something" for the victims of domestic violence, who she encounters every day in her job at the Police Northern Communications Centre.

"I'll never forget the sound of these little children, all under the age of five, in the background screaming and crying 'Please don't hurt me Daddy. Daddy please stop.' And all I could do was tell their mother to get these kids in a room and keep them safe from their father until we arrived," Jacqui recalls.

So to help cope with the stress of encountering domestic violence situations as part of her daily work, Jacqui decided to start an annual Christmas donation of new toys and gifts for children at the Mt Albert Woman's Refuge from staff at North Comms - a tradition that continues this year with the presentation of a basket brimming with children's gifts to Refuge manager Christina Putzay, in a ceremony at North Comms today.

"At the time I had a daughter who was about the same age as those children, and I went home that night and thought here she is all safe and well, while these kids have been wrenched out of their home at Christmas with nothing - at a time when kids are supposed to be happy."

Jacqui says North Comms staff always give generously because like her they feel like it's a way to help a situation they are usually dealing with at its worst.

"It's our way of coping - it's either that or adopting about 25 children!"


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