16 Oct 2014

Programme reduces domestic violence

3:52 pm on 16 October 2014

A police officer who founded a programme with a 70 percent success rate in reducing domestic violence says one of the reasons it works is because it gets people away from distractions.

There has been a 70 percent reduction in family violence among the 250 couples who have attended the weekend programme Whakakotahitanga in Ruapehu District over the last seven years.

The Taumarunui based police family violence co-ordinator Gabe Quirke said the camp was in a remote part of the Ruapehu District.

She said if they had run a three-day course and they went home each day they probably would not have come back the next day.

Ms Quirke said couples, who have been among the worst offenders, identify the triggers for violence and set up plans to deal with them.

A Wellington police officer involved in the programme said it should be a funding priority.

Sergeant Kelly Ryan said she was motivated by concern for children caught up in family violence.

"When people decide to be together and they know that they've got a family violence issue, that's a decision that they're making, but those children don't get to make that decision."

Sergeant Ryan said she hoped the programme would receive ongoing funding in Wellington and be rolled out to other regions.

The police are considering rolling out the programme in the Wellington region.

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