March against family violence

Family Violence – ‘It’s Not Ok’ is the message the Papamoa community will be shouting from the roof tops as they embark on an anti-domestic violence campaign next month.

The campaign is being rolled out in Papamoa on March 1, with a family fun day.

Community family violence co-ordinator, Heather Beddie, says it will be the first area in the Bay of Plenty to become a community where the responsibility of doing something about family violence is owned by the community.

“We have our new MP Todd Muller involved, Mayor Stuart Crosby is involved, and police are heavily involved alongside many of the community organisations, including sports and services clubs,” says Heather.

“Detective Senior Sergeant Rob Lemoto, host of Police Ten-7, is becoming a champion of the cause.”

Heather says the surf club is also involved alongside many other sports clubs, a gym, the mall and many other community organisations and businesses.

“People are stepping up and saying ‘actually we can do something about this as a community’,” she adds.

“We are rolling the campaign out on March 1 with a march in Papamoa and then there will be a family fun day where all the domestic violence agencies will be raising awareness and they will also have family things for families to do.

“Where this has happened in other areas in New Zealand, their domestic violence rates have dropped quite dramatically and this is an attempt from us, in partnership with ‘It’s Not Ok’, to actually do something about our domestic violence rates.”

Heather says the rates here are no higher or lower than any other area.

“The only difference is Papamoa is doing something about it,” she says. “That’s the magic phrase really.”

The march will be taking place on the grassed area behind McDonalds at Papamoa, just beside the mall.

“We are also going to have billboards up as you drive into Papamoa with the champions’ faces on it,” adds Heather.

“It’s not me, it’s not any one agency, it’s the community saying we can do something about family violence.”

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