Know who is there to call for help
It’s hard to know what to do if you know or suspect that violence is happening to people you know.
But research shows that only about 20 per cent of family violence incidents are ever reported to police or social services. Most people turn to friends and family first. Knowing what to say and do to help someone in a violent relationship could save a life. Just one action or comment can make the difference.
Simple everyday questions can start a conversation and build trust: Are you OK? Is someone hurting you? Are you scared to go home? Is there anything I can do? It’s not OK your kids are scared of you It can take a long time for people to leave violent relationships or to decide to change the way they behave. They need people who believe in them and can walk alongside them. Support can be as simple as keeping in touch: Call to say hi Offer to babysit Listen Be there Keep the door open Offer a safe place to go Find out about family violence. Adults affected by family violence feel a lot of shame whether they are being violent or being hurt. Children need to be protected from violence happening in their homes – they need adults around them to keep them safe.
Never put your own safety at risk. Don’t intervene in a violent situation or when people are angry or drunk, wait for a quiet time to talk or phone a family violence prevention organisation for advice.
If you need help or to discuss family safety, the organisations listed below from Matamata Piako can help you.
The Matamata Piako Family Safety Network was formed in 2009 to address family violence in our communities. The agencies work with all involved in family violence.
The network also co-ordinates activities across Matamata Piako to raise awareness and increase family safety.
In a crisis, call 111 and ask for police.