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No need for another domestic violence helpline

Please find attached and below media release from Preventing Violence in the Home.

4 November 2008

Preventing Violence in the Home says no need for another domestic violence helpline

Preventing Violence in the Home says there is no need for a confidential helpline for wives of police officers affected by domestic violence.

Yesterday, long-time Whakatane police prosecutor Adrian Hilterman, was sentenced to 150 community work for assault charges against his wife and children.

In sentencing, District Court Judge Robert Spear suggested a helpline for partners of police officers "who find themselves in a difficult situation at home".

But Preventing Violence in the Home, a national not-for-profit group dedicated to keeping people safe in their own homes, says it already runs a confidential helpline for domestic violence victims.

Executive director Jane Drumm says the organisation is well equipped to help people who may be facing sensitive issues due to their circumstances.

"There is no need for another helpline. Domestic violence victims anywhere in New Zealand can ring our confidential helpline 0508 DV HELP or 0508 384 357. Qualified staff can give them advice and point them in the right direction for support," she says.

Ms Drumm also says that 150 hours community service is not an appropriate sentence for Adrian Hilterman, and says at the very least, he should have to attend a stopping violence programme to understand what motivated his abusive behaviour.

"As a police prosecutor, he should have known better than anyone else what options were available to him for help, and what a risk he was taking in terms of his career. This is underlined by the fact that senior police officers knew about the offending from as early as 2002," she says.

Ms Drumm applauds the bravery shown by Dr Deborah Hilterman, and says she was extremely courageous to report the violence to the police.

"Many people have been surprised by the details of this case, because the victim is a doctor of high social standing and the perpetrator a police officer.

"But it highlights the fact that domestic violence is a problem for everyone in society - it crosses all socio-economic boundaries, occupations, races and ethnic groups," she says.

ENDS

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