Hawke's Bay has highest family violence rates

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Hawke's Bay has the highest family violence rates in the country, a problem that sees around 6000 police call-outs each year.  But that is only the tip of the iceberg with more than 70% of incidents going unreported. 

"Police in Hawke's Bay are called out to 6000 family violence incidents every year and that's only 24% of all family violence.  So 76% are not reporting to police.   It's frightening," says Pam McCann, Service Manager Family Works East Coast.

In Hastings alone, more than 2600 children were present during family violence, a problem that Family Works say needs addressing urgently.

McCann says often people ask 'well, what can we do?'.

"Well the things we can do is be better informed about violence and what it does to kids and what it does to families...we need to stop being bystanders to violence.

"When we know it's happening we need to do something about it, but in our own whānau we need to say no, it's not good enough and we need to stand up for the victims."

Nationally police attend a family violence incident every 5 minutes, family violence costs the country $4.1 to $7 billion a year.