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Chch Police sign agreement with AVIVA

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Christchurch Police and AVIVA have signed a Letter of Agreement to work together to reduce family violence in the city by engaging with men that have been involved in a family violence episode whether as a victim, subject or offender.

Canterbury District Commander, Superintendent Gary Knowles said "Canterbury Police are increasing the effort they are putting in to reduce family violence and signing this agreement is a significant step towards achieving this in Christchurch city. During October and November Police will be working on Operation Bright Hope, an initiative that aims to reduce family violence and repeat victimisation in the District. In the past family violence has peaked in the lead up to Christmas so by undertaking prevention work it is hoped this can be reduced."

AVIVA are a specialist family violence agency in Christchurch city and this agreement with Police is unique both in Christchurch and nationally. New Zealand Police estimate that between 20-25% of all family violence episodes are reported, the vast majority going unreported.

CEO of AVIVA, Nicola Woodward, was thrilled to be working with Christchurch Police to reduce family violence episodes and take a holistic approach to family violence prevention. "I have been involved in a similar initiative in North Canterbury which has been very successful. Working effectively with men that have been involved in a family violence episode can enhance the effectiveness of interventions and make a critical difference to children and families."

Unfortunately family violence is endemic in New Zealand. Operation Bright Hope aims to increase the awareness of family violence in the community and promote intervention and prevention. The timing of this focus is important in the lead up to Christmas and New Year, a time that can place significant additional stresses on Canterbury families.

The pinnacle of Operation Bright Hope is White Ribbon Day. White Ribbon Day has a special focus on violence against women. The day originated in Canada when a group of male students stood together to protest the brutal mass shooting of 14 female fellow students at the University of Montreal in 1991. White Ribbon eventually grew into an international movement demanding an end to violence towards women.

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