Tack­ling vi­o­lence in homes


Anaru Per­e­nara says he never woke up think­ing he would assault some­one that day. But he knows from per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence what it’s like for men who are un­able to con­trol their tem­per.

Per­e­nara and fel­low so­cial worker Di­ana Vao are be­ing em­ployed by the Sal­va­tion Army Manukau Com­mu­nity Min­istries to run an ear­ly­in­ter­ven­tion pro­gramme to help peo­ple with anger is­sues.

Called Ko Te Kitenga Hou, or The New Vi­sion, it’s held at 6pm on Wed­nes­days. It cov­ers top­ics in­clud­ing anger man­age­ment, prob­lem-solv­ing, as­sertive­ness and com­mu­ni­ca­tion, grief and loss, feel­ings, de­ci­sion-mak­ing and ad­dic­tive be­hav­iour, self-worth and bud­get­ing.

Com­mu­nity min­istries direc­tor Pam Hughes says Per­e­nara is work­ing with men on the pro­gramme while Vao sup­ports their wives, part­ners, chil­dren and fam­ily mem­bers. Vao also as­sists fam­ily vi­o­lence vic­tims re­ferred by po­lice as well as women who are seek­ing sup­port and skills to man­age their own anger.

Men want­ing to take part in the pro­gramme can do so vol­un­tar­ily while oth­ers are en­cour­aged to at­tend by Coun­ties Manukau Po­lice and other agen­cies, Hughes says. ‘‘The point of dif­fer­ence [to other such pro­grammes] is th­ese men are not charged with a crime.’’

Per­e­nara says when he was younger he strug­gled to man­age his emo­tions.

‘‘A big rea­son why I ap­plied for this role is it’s an area I have ex­pe­ri­ence in. Deal­ing with do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, my own demons, and my own past.

‘‘I come from a re­ally good fam­ily, but I made poor choices as a teenager which led to poor de­ci­sions as an adult. I hope the men I’m sup­port­ing look at me as some­one who walked a sim­i­lar path to what they’re go­ing through.’’

Per­e­nara says a ma­jor as­pect of help­ing men on the pro­gramme is iden­ti­fy­ing what trig­gers them. That knowl­edge­ment will be shared with their wives or part­ners so they can help to defuse an ar­gu­ment be­fore it es­ca­lates.

Ko Te Kitenga Hou is funded by a pri­vate trust, and the Min­istry of So­cial Devel­op­ment is pro­vid­ing fund­ing for the Sal­lies to em­ploy Vao. Phone 09 262 2332 for more in­for­ma­tion.

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