Potential for family violence increases over the festive season, police warned today.
While the number of murders in New Zealand has been falling since the late 1980s, family violence homicides have not followed this trend. National Violence Reduction manager Inspector Rob Veale said over half of all murders countrywide in 2001 were family or domestic violence related.
He urged people who had concerns over Christmas to speak to local police about it.
Police have introduced a 12-point check list to help police assess if family violence victims are likely to be seriously harmed or even killed.
The list includes whether:
- The offender has threatened to commit suicide or to kill the victim, children or other family members.
- There is a history of alcohol or drug problems.
- The suspect is stalking or obsessed with the victim.
- Children are in the home when violence has occurred, or have been hurt or threatened.
- The offender has access to weapons and has a history of violent behaviour against family members.