Fewer domestic violence incidents than expected

The number of family harm events in Canterbury has continued to be fewer than police expected during the lockdown.

Star News reported on Thursday there were 72 such events on March 28, a big spike from the about 30 reported to police on an average day. The number of events dropped to 42 the next day and remained at about this number last week.

This week, director of the integrated safety response to family violence Leanne McSkimming said this number has dropped slightly. She said this is surprising but she hopes this will continue.

Said ISR director McSkimming: "It [the number of family violence events] has stayed relatively similar, it's probably dropped a little bit.

"I had thought that we would start to see a significant increase by now, based on internationally what had happened in other countries when they had lockdown but, as yet, I'm actually not seeing that come to fruition," she said.

She said the average number of family harm events in Canterbury at the moment is not out of the ordinary and similar to that which occurred in January this year and September, October and November last year.

ISR director McSkimming said police and other support services are still available for victims of family violence and those close to them who want to help.

"Some people may not necessarily feel that they want to phone police, so I really do highlight that there is that ability to make a call to other agencies or support services to access the support that they need."

She said these services include Women's Refuge and He Waka Tapu's 0800 HEY BRO number, a 24/7 support line for people who are having feelings of wanting to harm their family

ISR director McSkimming is not sure why the number of family harm events in Canterbury has been lower than she expected during the lockdown but she said it could have something to do with the resilience of Cantabrians.

"This is my personal view. If you look at Canterbury, for example, we've been through earthquakes, we've been through the mosque shootings.

"I think we are probably more resilient perhaps. . . it's not like we haven't been in a position before where our city has been a little bit in crisis.

Family harm support service contacts:

  • Christchurch Women's refuge (Aviva)- Ph: 0800 AVIVA (0800 28482 669)
  • 0800 HEY BRO: 0800 439 276

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