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.