Say no to vi­o­lence over Christ­mas

Matamata Chronicle - - Happy New Year -

The fes­tive sea­son and sum­mer hol­i­day time is when we en­joy be­ing with fam­ily and friends, we re­lax and take stock of the year that’s end­ing.

Sadly, for many in New Zealand this won’t be true. Vi­o­lence in the home es­ca­lates over Christ­mas and Jan­uary. Calls to po­lice in­crease as fam­ily sit­u­a­tions get out of con­trol.

Roz Nancekiv­ell, preven­tion co­or­di­na­tor for the Mata­mata Pi­ako Fam­ily Safety Net­work, said only 20 per cent of fam­ily vi­o­lence is re­ported. ‘‘Most peo­ple who are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing vi­o­lence at home reach out for help to friends and fam­ily first.

‘‘It is OK to help when you are wor­ried about some­one you know whether they are be­ing hurt or are hurt­ing some­one else.’’ Here are some ideas:

Give the gift of help this sum­mer

Tip: Small acts of kind­ness can make a big dif­fer­ence – of­fer­ing food, tak­ing chil­dren on an out­ing, spend­ing time lis­ten­ing.

Fam­ily vi­o­lence never takes a hol­i­day

Tip: If you know or sus­pect vi­o­lence is hap­pen­ing, don’t ig­nore it.

Christ­mas is not OK if there’s vi­o­lence at home

Tip: If the stress is get­ting to you, take a walk and calm down. Spend time not money Tip: Don’t spend more than you

can af­ford – talk about how to keep ex­penses down this sum­mer.

Value older peo­ple in your whanau

Tip: It’s im­por­tant for older mem­bers of the fam­ily to have a say in how they will con­trib­ute to cel­e­bra­tions – fi­nan­cially and in other ways too.

If you are wor­ried about some­one it’s im­por­tant to reach out – safely.

Never put the vic­tim’s or your own safety at risk.

Peo­ple need support to make de­ci­sions in their own time – go at their pace.

If chil­dren are be­ing hurt they need adults to step in and take

charge of their safety.

If some­one is in dan­ger or you think some­one could be harmed call Po­lice on 111.

Even if you’re not sure, you can call the It’s not OK in­for­ma­tion line on 0800 456 450. It op­er­ates ev­ery day of the year from 9am to 11pm.

For more in­for­ma­tion go to www.arey­ouok.org.nz.

SAFETY FO­CUS: Mata­mata Pi­ako Fam­ily Safety Net­work preven­tion co­or­di­na­tor Roz Nancekiv­ell.

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