Fam­ily vi­o­lence ad­dressed

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By NI­COLA STE­WART

Re­ports of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in the Mata­mata- Pi­ako district have in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly since last year, but police say it is a move in the right direc­tion.

In 2011, there were 319 re­ported in­ci­dents of fam­ily vi­o­lence across the district. In 2012 to date, there have al­ready been 367 in­ci­dents re­ported to police.

Sub- area man­ager for Mata­mata-Pi­ako Se­nior Sergeant Rod Carpin­ter said the sta­tis­tics were an in­di­ca­tion that peo­ple were tak­ing do­mes­tic vi­o­lence more se­ri­ously.

‘‘ This in­crease, I be­lieve, re­flects that peo­ple are real­is­ing it isn’t ac­cept­able to be in­volved in a vi­o­lent re­la­tion­ship,’’ he said.

‘‘ Twenty years ago no- one thought there was any­thing wrong with drink­ing and driv­ing.

‘‘It’s about a change in what is so­cially ac­cept­able. Peo­ple are start­ing to recog­nise the re­al­ity and se­ri­ous­ness of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.’’ Cam­paigns such as White Rib­bon and the It’s Not Okay tele­vi­sion advertisements, and peo­ple such as David White speak­ing out against vi­o­lence were driv­ing this change, he said.

How­ever, police found there were mis­con­cep­tions about where do­mes­tic vi­o­lence oc­curred.

‘‘It doesn’t just hap­pen in one small area,’’ said Mr Carpin­ter.

In the East­ern Waikato area, which in­cludes Hau­raki and Thames-Coro­man­del, 47 per cent of fam­ily vi­o­lence in­ci­dents were in the Mata­mata-Pi­ako district.

Of those in­ci­dents, 29 per cent were in Mata­mata, 43 per cent in Mor­rinsville and 28 per cent in Te Aroha. In 2008 a num­ber of agen­cies, in­clud­ing police, the Waikato District Health Board, Child Youth and Fam­ily, Vic­tim Sup­port and local so­cial ser­vice providers, set up the Mata­mataPi­ako Fam­ily Safety Net­work to sup­port fam­i­lies and work to pre­vent do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

Mr Carpin­ter is now head­ing an in­ter­ven­tion team that will pro­mote the net­work, in­tro­duce pre­ven­ta­tive pro­gram­ming and cre­ate de­vel­op­ment and direc­tion for the net­work.

The success of the net­work would be mea­sured by the num­ber of re­peat vic­tim­i­sa­tions and whether the se­ri­ous­ness of in­ci­dents was in­creas­ing, said Mr Carpin­ter.

At a meet­ing held at Starfish So­cial Ser­vices’ new premises last week, he asked local ser­vice providers to ar­tic­u­late what they could con­trib­ute.

‘‘The aim of this dis­cus­sion was to find out what ser­vices were avail­able, how we could co­or­di­nate those ser­vices and how they could be in­volved in mak­ing the district a safer place,’’ he said.

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