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(NZ) Ex attacks over possum custody, police say it's not OK

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.

Two articles that touch on family abuse and violence that some women perpetrate.

Ex attacks over possum custody, police say it's not OK

8 October 2008

A woman was arrested after she kicked in the door of her ex-partner's home, then kicked him, in a dispute over custody of a possum.

When police arrived at the Hamilton house about 7.30am yesterday, 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.

The woman was arrested 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 byproduct 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 about 50 percent of all homicides in New Zealand believed to be linked in some way to family violence, police took all reported incidents seriously, Mr Bu Bear said.

"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."

- NZPA


Couple argue over custody of possum
By Kathryn King - The Dominion Post

9 October 2008

The fur was flying as police were called to a domestic dispute when an estranged couple fought over who would get custody of their pet possum.

But the pair could find themselves caught in the headlights for harbouring a notorious pest.

Hamilton police charged a woman, 21, with assault after she allegedly kicked her way into her former partner's house yesterday and then kicked him. The dispute was over custody of the possum, which has been left in the man's care.

Environment Waikato biosecurity officer Brett Bailey said possums were pests and it was illegal to keep them as pets without Conservation Department permission.

For a first-time offender, the fine for having a pet possum begins at $500, but the current custodian may want to consider joint custody to make keeping the animal affordable.

"Usually, DOC will order the animal destroyed, but if people do not comply with an order they can face a further fine of $1000, and up to $50 a day until the order is met," Mr Bailey said.

Wellington zookeeper and veterinary nurse Cath MacLauchlan said the estranged couple were lucky that their commotion did not scare the possum.

"The flight mechanism is so strong if they get a fright they will go straight up the highest thing they can find - even if it's you. They have incredibly sharp claws and they will end up sitting on your head and raking your face as they go past."

Possums can carry bovine TB and cryptosporidium.

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