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 womensrefuge.org.nz.
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 plwvs.co.nz.