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Personal touch helps ease tension for families

Personal touch helps ease tension for families

Police around the country have been trying a more personal approach to help families have a peaceful, non-violent holiday period.

"For some families this time of year is one filled with fear and violence instead of happiness," says Acting Deputy Commissioner Grant Nicholls.

Police will have attended some 11,000 incidents involving family violence by the time the December -January period is over.

"Police family violence co-ordinators have worked closely with partner agencies and community groups in their respective districts to try and make this Christmas/New Year a peaceful one for families in their communities," Mr Nicholls said.

"Police in some parts of the country have found the personal approach to families in their communities has really had an impact and they have repeated the initiatives this year."

"In Hastings police and partner agencies called on 20 at-risk families with information and food parcels to help out over Christmas, an approach that was successful last year.

"Another strategy has been delivering families a Christmas card with a Christmas message and information to encourage a peaceful festive season."

"At this time of year we want people to really think about their behaviour and how it could affect family holiday time, and importantly to understand that help is available if things are going badly."

"If things are going badly and you or someone you know needs help, there is help available," Mr Nicholls said.

You can contact police by getting in touch with your local police station or dialling 111 in an emergency.

Other agencies that can help are:

Women's Refuge Call 0800 Refuge for help and support.

Family Violence It's Not OK (9am -11pm) 0800 456 450

Victim Support 0800 842 846

Crime Stoppers If you don't want to go to police, or you don't want to identify yourself call Crimestoppers to give information anonymously - 0800 555 111 or go to www.crimestoppers-nz.org

For more information and advice on family violence visit www.areyouok.org.nz

"I would like to remind everyone in the community that we all need to take a personal approach to reduce family violence," said Mr Nicholls.

“Family violence survives when there is silence – when people believe that it’s private and personal, that it’s not their business."

“If you have concerns about someone who may be a victim of violence these holidays, speak out. Talk to your local police about it.

“People in the community together with police and other agencies can help prevent tragedies. By contacting Police about your concerns, it provides a greater opportunity for early intervention and helps us keep victims safe and hold violent offenders accountable for their actions.

We wish families a safe and peaceful break," Mr Nicholls said.


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