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Sport stars stand against domestic violence

Friday 2 September 2011 | Published in Regional


A new anti-domestic violence advertising campaign will begin screening on television this week, featuring two sports stars who tripped to Rarotonga to join the push.

Cook Islands-born rugby player Francis Smith and New Zealand netballer Cathrine Latu came to Rarotonga in May to film three television ads, which started screening on Cook Islands Television (CITV) last night.

Smith, who plays hooker for the Tasman Makos in New Zealands ITM Cup series, is the son of Air Rarotonga owners Ewan and Fenny Smith.

Latu plays goal shoot for the Northern Mystics in the ANZ Championship and is tipped to become a Silver Fern. Shes of Tongan, Samoan, European and Maori descent.

Cook Islands Police domestic violence prevention coordinator senior sergeant Rebecca Ellis joins the pair in the ads, which are part of a programme run by the Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Programme.

Ellis said the campaign made use of the familiar break the silence and end the violence tag line of previous domestic violence campaigns.

The aim is to create a safer Pacific, free from domestic violence, she said.

Similar ads featuring other rugby players have already run in Samoa and Tonga encouraging people to break the silence and end the violence.

Domestic violence is a crime and police take it very seriously. As we say in the ads, if you or someone you know is being hurt, its time to take a stand. Call us on 999. We can help keep your family safe.

The Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Programme is a joint initiative of The New Zealand Aid Programme, New Zealand Police, and the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police organisation.

The project has five participating countries Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati and Vanuatu.