Stop­ping fam­ily harm

Eastern Courier - - FRONT PAGE - MEGHAN LAWRENCE

An in­crease in fam­ily vi­o­lence in Coun­ties Manukau East has left agen­cies pushed to their lim­its.

Po­lice crime data shows that dur­ing the 12-month pe­riod end­ing November 2016, there were 525 unique vic­tims from acts in­tended to cause in­jury com­mit­ted by a fam­ily mem­ber.

It’s a 19 per cent in­crease from the same pe­riod the year be­fore.

Lo­cal agen­cies have also re­ported a spike in of­fences over Christ­mas and New Year.

Op­er­a­tions man­ager for Eastern Refuge So­ci­ety, Rhonda CoxNis­sen, says it’s not un­usual for num­bers to rise dur­ing the fes­tive hol­i­days.

‘‘Our cri­sis line had more in­for­ma­tion and sup­port calls over the Christ­mas pe­riod, and in terms of our res­i­den­tial fa­cil­ity we were ac­tu­ally full so we couldn’t have taken in any more women and chil­dren.’’

She says the in­crease over Christ­mas can be at­trib­uted to ac­cess to al­co­hol, ad­di­tional peo­ple in the house and money pres­sures, and the wider is­sue may be down to a pop­u­la­tion in­crease in the area.

‘‘Coun­ties Manukau East is grow­ing and there is very lit­tle in­fra­struc­ture be­ing put in place in or­der to sup­port agen­cies that work in this par­tic­u­lar area.

‘‘I think it has been largely over­looked and that po­ten­tially there is an ide­ol­ogy out there that Coun­ties Manukau East doesn’t need those kinds of ser­vices, but I can tell you cat­e­gor­i­cally that’s com­pletely untrue.’’

Cox-Nis­sen says the in­cor­rect as­sump­tion also stretches into the com­mu­nity.

‘‘Peo­ple like to think it doesn’t hap­pen in their own neigh­bour­hood and that the peo­ple they work with and so­cialise with don’t en­gage in that kind of be­hav­iour,’’ she says.

‘‘But when one in three women are a vic­tim of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in this coun­try, you have to make the nat­u­ral as­sump­tion that some of the peo­ple you are hang­ing out with could po­ten­tially be per­pe­tra­tors and/or vic­tims.’’

Con­tin­ued on page 7

Kawakawa Bay were closed off due to flood­ing, slips and fallen trees.

There have also been res­i­dent re­ports of sew­er­age over­flows in the stormwa­ter net­work at Mel­lons Bay beach near How­ick.

Mel­lons Bay res­i­dents have re­ported sewage wa­ter com­ing through the sewage man­hole at Mel­lons Bay Beach as a re­sult of the heavy rain­fall.

Mel­lons Bay lo­cal Peter Roy­lance says: ‘‘ An emer­gency es­cape valve for sewage is po­si­tioned right on the main en­trance to the beach and flows di­rectly on to it by the main steps.’’

‘‘This is a public health hazard and should not be tol­er­ated.’’

Se­nior Sergeant Peter Kaveney says busi­ness was as usual in the Coun­ties Manukau East re­gion.

‘‘There was no ma­jor flood­ing re­ported or no de­lays in traf­fic. Po­lice at­tended a cou­ple of car crashes.

‘‘There was a mi­nor slip on Sand­stone Road in Or­mis­ton.’’

More on page 3

MEGHAN LAWRENCE / FAIR­FAX NZ

The Whangaia Nga Pa Harakeke team of Coun­ties Manukau Po­lice dis­trict is work­ing hard to re­duce do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in­ci­dents.

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