08 October 2008
It was more than just fur flying when Hamilton Police attended a domestic incident at a Frankton address yesterday.
Police were called to the Primrose St address about 7.30am to reports of a fight, on arrival they found a 21-year-old woman had kicked in the door of her ex-partner's home then kicked him, all over a custody dispute for the estranged couple's pet possum.
Arrested, the woman was taken away by Police while her former partner was left with custody of the oblivious marsupial.
While conceding yesterday's incident was unusual the officer in charge of the Hamilton Family Violence Investigation Team, Detective Sergeant Andy Bu Bear said there were more serious underlying issues.
"Over recent months we've noticed a small increase in the number of male victims reporting to us that they have been the victims of domestic violence.
"It's hard to put a finger on just why this has occurred, it could be a bi-product of advertising campaigns telling people that family violence is not ok or due to societal changes resulting in men feeling more confident in reporting these incidents," he said.
With around 50 per cent of all homicides in New Zealand believed to be linked in some way to family violence Mr Bu Bear said Police took all reported incidents seriously.
"It's of great concern that for many years around half of this country's homicides have been linked to family violence," said Mr Bu Bear.
"This is clearly unacceptable and the message is simple - family violence is not ok."