Police say domestic incidents are being reported nearly every day this year.
That’s sparked calls for action from women’s groups.
National Council of Women coordinator Taputu Mariri said it was important agencies worked together to eliminate violence against women. She knew of many more abused women who were too scared to report the violence to police, or leave their partners.
And Rebeka Buchanan, coordinator of counselling organisation Punanga Tauturu Inc, said the police call-out rates showed people were now speaking up about violence.
Yesterday, a young man was sentenced to 12 months’ probation, counselling, and ordered to pay the medical costs of a woman he assaulted.
Maurangi Pera had punched the woman in the face.
Senior Sergeant Fairoa Taroro, the police prosecutor, acknowledged Pera’s guilty plea and lack of prior convictions.
Justice of the Peace Tangi Taoro said the charge was serious and aggravated. “Do not come back on a similar charge, the court won’t be lenient again, I can assure you that,” she told Pera
In another case, Kunal Nand was convicted of assaulted a woman in Arorangi last month. He was ordered to attend counselling and to pay $20 medical costs.
Sergeant Tararo said the assault was minor and it was his first court matter.
Police spokesperson Trevor Pitt said rates of domestic incidents were higher than the same period last year.
“While the Police cannot attribute this trend to the recent pressures of social adjustment and economic hardship, there is an underlying concern about the prolonged impact of the Covid-19 threat on families and relationships.
“Given that financial issues can be a contributing factor in domestic disputes, extended economic hardship may well exacerbate conflicts in the home.”
Pitt said a deeper analysis around those impacts would require agencies other than the Police. Two-fifths of domestic incidents this year were classed as violent.
He reiterated that there was a no drop policy on domestic violence matters – police would pursue them right through the court.
Police attended to all complaints to maintain safety and peaceful order, whether physical or verbal, as the presence of officers was effective in defusing conflict, Pitt said.