Watch: Former gang leader credits Destiny Church's Man Up programme for turning his life around

Source: 1News

A former gang leader who brought drugs and crime home to his wife and kids is now speaking out against family violence after attending the Destiny Church run programme Man Up.

Ex-Black Power president Renata Beazley says: "It was about being the biggest and the baddest. I've been shot at, I've been stabbed. I've done those to others as well."

At 34, the Northland father-of-five says he's been to prison 37 times and has 101 convictions - most of them violence-related.

"My kids have been the ones to witness it, to come and see dad when he was in a coma, to come and see me, visit me in jail for things I've done to other people, seeing things I've done to their mum," Mr Beazley said.

"They witnessed me hit her, they witnessed me swearing at her, run her down and kill her confidence."

The number of family violence investigations have more than doubled in Northland over the last 10 years, reaching close to 6,000 a year.

In the last year alone, police have issued nearly 600 protection orders, 50 of which were breached.

"Meth's a big one in Kaikohe and addictions, but that's just a by-product of the hurt and the pain people are suffering from," he says.

A year ago Mr Beazley turned his life around when he began attending mens group Man Up.

He credits Man Up with helping him to control his anger and he no longer drinks or takes drugs.

Mr Beazley's partner of 20 years, Michelle, says: "When we're at home, it's not like walking on egg shells anymore. Everyone's just happier. He helps around the house, he plays with the kids, spends time with the kids more."