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White Ribbon relay helps fight domestic violence
16 Nov 2015

Already the White Ribbon relay event has become a firm favourite on the calendar for many New Plymouth people.

Grant Coward says elder abuse rife in Taranaki
15 Jun 2015

Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

Sadly, it could just as easily be subtitled "and Taranaki's got nothing to be proud of".

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A Passion For Safe Families
1st January 2014

Welcome to our new monthly column

Welcome to our new monthly column and many thanks to Paul Peters and his team for allowing us the space to run this in the North Taranaki Midweek and South Taranaki Star.

That said, let's get straight to the point.

By now most of you will be familiar with the saying, "Taranaki – where family violence is NOT OK"'.

That's something all of us at the Taranaki Safe Families Trust passionately believe in. And before anyone writes that off as a feel-good, trite one-liner, consider the following statistic.

Police in New Zealand respond to a family violence incident every seven-and-a-half minutes. Think about that.

It's a stunning indictment on what's happening in so many diverse communities, up and down the country and in our own region.

Now that's not our statistic – it is the police's. It's a fact and, quite simply, it's not good enough.

That's why we are doing our utmost to spread the message that family violence is NOT OK.

We've actually been around for more than 15 years fighting this destructive social problem that only recently has been brought out into the open and given some prominence.

Originally there were three separate groups, the Family Violence Focus Group, the Taranaki Te Rito Group and the South Taranaki Family Violence Network, all of which worked hard to combat the problem throughout the region.

In 2008 the three groups got together to create our new entity, the Taranaki Safe Families Trust. Members of the three groups became Taranaki Safe Families, which is supported by the New Plymouth, South Taranaki and Stratford District Councils.

Our aims are simple and our goals are ones we know almost every single person reading this will agree with: To raise awareness of family violence issues in Taranaki; to educate and promote prevention initiatives; increase collaboration between agencies and to help develop those initiatives.

We have a lot of projects on the go at the moment, projects many of you can be involved in, whether it's through your children's schools, your sports club or your work place, to name just a few.

But those are things we'll be bringing to your attention in the next few newsletters, and you'll be fascinated to find out just how widespread our work is.

Sadly, you'll be equally horrified to find out just how widespread the problem is, no matter what the socio-economic standing of the family. So for now we'll leave you with this thought.

It is OK to get involved.

If someone tells you they feel unsafe, believe them. If someone tells you they are worried about their own behaviour, listen to them.