Grace Millane murder trial: White Ribbon ambassador Mark Longley's advice to NZ

With the trial for Grace Millane's alleged killer to begin this week, Mark Longley has some idea of what can be expected.

In 2011, his 17-year-old daughter Emily was strangled to death in the UK. While mourning her, he had to endure the long, draining process of the murder trial of her killer.

Longley understands more than anyone what the Millane family are going through, and what they will go through during the trial. He had some advice for the rest of New Zealand.

"Just remember that there's a family mourning their daughter, and there's a girl's reputation on the line here," Longley told The Project.

He said his family put their faith in the justice system, and others should do the same.

"These guys know what they're doing - this is what they do for a living, just let them deal with it."

Longley, Newshub digital's managing editor, spoke about how New Zealand could also make things harder for the family as they endure the trial.

"Don't make things worse by getting angry and getting on social media and venting your anger that way, and potentially putting the trial in jeopardy," he said.

"They'll [the Millane family] be nervously anticipating this trial - they probably won't really know what they're in for.

"I think it's going to take a real strain."

He also had some advice for others mourning loved ones; remember them the way they were, not what happened to them.

"That's what we do with Emily now - we don't think about what happened to her, we remember the good times we had with her," he told The Project.

Longley got involved with White Ribbon, which campaigns to end violence against women, after Emily died. He said there's now growing awareness about domestic violence, but it's still happening too often.

"There was eight years between Emily and Grace dying, and I think the big difference is that people have admitted there's a problem now. [Before] there was a reluctance to admit there was a domestic violence problem in New Zealand.

"I think that's been [a] big difference, but sadly the statistics; they're still not coming down.

"Too many women and children are not only dying, but being abused in the home.

"Your family should be about love and warmth and support - it shouldn't be about violence."  

Longley earlier this year made 'Death: A podcast about love, grief & hope', about the journey people go on after losing someone.

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Death: A podcast about love, grief and hope is available on RovaiTunesSpotifySoundCloud, and all major podcast platforms.