Tokoroa unites against family violence
It’s an issue which continues to make negative headlines but the Tokoroa Council of Social Services (TCOSS) aim to make a stand against family violence in the South Waikato.
With the annual White Ribbon campaign launching this month of November there is no better time to make a difference and stand up than now.
Our community has had its dark times concerning violence. So we’ve decided to take a stand against it with other friends and we want to make a difference in our community.
As a long time Tokoroa resident, I know family violence is an ongoing issue, and the TCOSS team and I want to address this and begin looking at solutions.
TCOSS aim to provide information, connect, but more importantly support those in need of assistance with the aim of ensuring this community is one which continues to thrive.
At Tokoroa Council of Social Services, we see our role in the community to make sure that people can connect with the support that they need and try to help our community to understand that family violence or violence in general is not good for our community.
We want a thriving community, we want a community where education can be a key and a huge part of life, where people have an informed choice to do whatever they want to do and be whatever they want to be.
We really want to engage with our community to make sure there is every opportunity to do that. We have focussed on ways of spreading positive messages across various platforms to try and reduce all forms of violence.
A four-pronged approach to the anti-violence campaign has seen TCOSS go into the local primary schools and gain insight into what healthy relationships with friends and family look like from their perspective.
It has been beneficial for the team to see and hear the voices of our young children, as they are fully aware of the problem of family violence and also have input into what are genuine solutions to addressing it.
In addition to the school visits another major part of promoting their anti-violence stance has been organising the inter school touch module every Thursday afternoon.
Previously organised by the Blue Light, TCOSS has taken on the task this year and utilised the opportunity to reinforce positive pro-social messaging at the touch football module.
We are hosting a touch tournament [for children], where people can come along see our information and just get that message out there.
There isn’t that opportunity to get 300+ people in one place every Thursday night, so we’re using that as a medium.
The other approaches are to provide encouraging content through posters, articles and videos over the upcoming weeks and also work closely with the South Waikato Pacific Island Community Trust, Tu Ki Runga Tokoroa group and the South Waikato Living Without Violence Trust who share the same values and goals for our community.
As the festive season draws near, it is also a noted time where more incidents of violence occur.
The hope is that this campaign would go some way towards supporting a decrease in the number of arrests and negative statistics over the Christmas-new Year period.
If you or someone you know are looking for assistance then you can phone the team at TCOSS on (07) 8868277.
TCOSS General Manager Josiah Teokotai.