Topic: Domestic Violence

Balloons released in remembrance of family violence victims

By Harata Brown
  • Auckland

Although the sun was shinning above Manurewa Marae today, the sun has indeed set for those who have fallen victim to family violence. 

The Safer Aotearoa Family Violence Prevention Network (SAFVPN) released 100 balloons in remembrance of the same number of victims who have died as a result of family violence in the past two years. 

Manager Raewyn Bahna says that the small number of those present at Manurewa Marae today is evident that there needs to be more work done to raise awareness around the issue.

"Police are saying that the numbers are down, however from where I am sitting, that is only the reported cases. What about the unreported cases?" says Bahna. 

The Safer Aotearoa Family Violence Prevention Network (SAFVPN) works directly with Police in the Counties Manukau area.  The network says they have received about 2000 referrals in the last two years and family violence is learnt behavior that is at times, inter-generational.    

Board Chairman George Ngātai also says that there are many anti family violence providers that are available to families.

"What we need to ensure is that all services work together, and that victims of family violence are able to talk about their issues in Auckland and throughout NZ," says Ngātai. 

Another board member, Te Rata Hikairo describes himself as a survivor of family violence. He says the solution to the problem is making more people aware of it's symptoms. 

"When I went to school, I would go to my teachers and the principal. I would talk to them about the issues of family violence I was facing. Because I was open about the issue, I was able to get help. So the best thing is to talk about it," says Hikairo. 

SAFVPN Manager Bhana says that family violence is multi cultured and is prevalent in all social-economic backgrounds.