Vi­o­lence and tur­moil be­neath the tin­sel


Christ­mas ‘‘The chil­dren were nes­tled all snug in their beds,

While vi­sions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.’’

While we would love to think that Christ­mas is a happy time for all, sadly that is nowhere near the re­al­ity for some.

Fam­ily stresses are at their peak at this time of year and Christ­mas can be the last straw for fam­i­lies al­ready strug­gling to cope.

The stresses that come to­gether at Christ­mas – fi­nances, ex­tended fam­i­lies, high ex­pec­ta­tions from chil­dren, par­ties, ex­cess al­co­hol – are enor­mous.

They can cause peo­ple to be­have im­pul­sively and badly – both fi­nan­cially and vi­o­lently.

Trag­i­cally it is at this time of year, be­fore and es­pe­cially im­me­di­ately af­ter Christ­mas, that Women’s Refuges note a surge in the need for their ser­vices.

In Porirua City there are two Women’s Refuges, one of which is specif­i­cally for Maori wahine and their fam­i­lies.

If you find your­self in a vi­o­lent re­la­tion­ship, pick up the phone and call a Women’s Refuge. Their num­bers are at the bot­tom of this ar­ti­cle.

Whether you are the vic­tim or the per­pe­tra­tor of vi­o­lence, know this: re­gard­less of what stresses there are on the fam­ily vi­o­lence, is not OK.

If you grew up in a vi­o­lent house­hold, know that it is not the norm.

Women’s Refuge will im­me­di­ately do two things for a mother and her chil­dren. It will find them a safe place to stay and get a pro­tec­tion or­der taken out against their abuser.

Most im­por­tantly, the mother and her chil­dren will be safe and get the care, sup­port and ad­vice they need.

At Women’s Refuge, there’s al­ways a need for do­na­tions, par­tic­u­larly cash or sec­ond-hand items to help set up a house, clothes, non- per­ish­able food, nap­pies and toi­letries.

If you can, now is the time to do­nate be­cause the need for such items is likely to in­crease in the com­ing weeks.

Porirua Liv­ing With­out Vi­o­lence runs do­mes­tic vi­o­lence train­ing pro­grammes four times a year.

It is tak­ing regis­tra­tions now. The next pro­gramme be­gins in Fe­bru­ary.

The pro­grammes are for per­pe­tra­tors of fam­ily vi­o­lence and for women and chil­dren who have been wit­nesses or suf­fered fam­ily vi­o­lence.

Con­tact Women’s Refuge on 2346118, or Maori Women’s Refuge on 2377027. If you are in im­me­di­ate dan­ger, phone 111.

For do­na­tions, visit wom­en­

To do­nate sec­ond-hand items, phone 237 7027 ( pick­ups for larger items can be ar­ranged).

Gifts for women and chil­dren who will use Women’s Refuge this Christ­mas can be left at The Ware­house in Porirua un­til De­cem­ber 20.

Porirua Liv­ing With­out Vi­o­lence can be con­tacted on 237 6009 or check out its ser­vices on­line at

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