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White Ribbon Day: Combating family violence together

White Ribbon Day 2010 - Coming together to combat family violence

Police from around NZ will be wearing white ribbons this week in support of White Ribbon Day 2010 - a day where communities get together to take a stand against violence towards women.

All around the country police will be leading or participating in activities and events with communities that want to be free of family violence.

White Ribbon Day is a chance for Police, partner agencies and the community to come together to show their support in combating family violence.

Manager Violence Reduction Unit, Detective Inspector Ross Grantham says, "New Zealand Police is committed to making communities safer, it's not just about prosecuting offenders of family violence and holding them accountable for their behaviour, it's about families understanding that Family Violence is not OK. Police want to help families change, from understanding family violence is not OK to doing something to stop it in their family, and ideally we want to modify people's behaviour so families survive.

In 2009 there were approximately 91, 000 family violence incidents and offences in New Zealand with Police attending one incident every seven minutes. Children were present at over 50% of these incidents.

"Police are committed to facilitating better support and outcomes for victims of family violence though our collaborative working relationships with our community partners."

Earlier this month on 01 November Police launched the refreshed Family Safety Teams (FSTs). Six teams are spread nationally and work with families at high or extreme risk of family violence.

"These are the families we struggle to connect with and that need the most help. FST's will engage with families to ensure they get help.

"Police are there to assist and protect victims of family violence and the Family Safety Teams allow us to reach people that are sometimes hard to get to", says Detective Inspector Grantham.

In 2009/10 Police completed 82,646 risk assessments at Family Violence incidents and responded to 43 Family Violence related homicides.

Police Safety Orders (PSOs) which came into effect in July this year also contribute to Police's ability to prevent family violence and protect victims. Police can use a PSO to remove someone from a house who is causing or could potentially cause harm to others living in that house.

In September 2010, police issued 360 Police Safety Orders. This compares with 307 issued in August and 291 issued in July.

"Police recognises the serious and negative harm caused to our communities by Family Violence, however we can't combat this issue alone. We need the community to help us do this and by doing the right thing by reporting family violence and spreading the word that it's not okay."

If you know someone who is a victim of family violence or someone who is committing family violence please contact your local Police station or contact the CrimeStoppers hotline anonymously on 0800 555 111.

White Ribbon Day is on 25 November every year.


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