Say no to violence over Christmas
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.