Tauranga men and women are being encouraged to stand together and say no to domestic violence as people gear up for the annual tug-o-war challenge next Friday.
Children are present in the majority of domestic violence cases.
The challenge on November 28 at Fraser Cove is to promote the anti-violence campaign White Ribbon in a bid to stop domestic abuse.
Tauranga Police attend around 70 incidents of domestic violence a week - a statistic the Tauranga Moana Abuse Prevention group says is “way too high”.
BOP Family Works co-ordinator Heather Beddie says the 70 cases reported to police a week are only a percentage of what is really happening.
“That’s 70 women and their respective children that are being hurt in some way under the banner of family violence.
“If we take that right across New Zealand, we have just as big an issue nationally as we do locally. It’s everywhere, one in three of our women are being affected by domestic violence.”
Heather believes meetings like the one at Hillier Centre today are important for people to come together to discuss the issue and start to “dig down deeper” about what can be done to stop it.
“There is no one easy fix.”
Heather adds children are almost always present during the majority of family violence.
“Most family violence is not reported to agencies. NZ Police estimate they see only 18 per cent of all violence within homes.
“No one should be frightened of someone in their family.”