Toko­roa unites against fam­ily vi­o­lence

South Waikato News - - Your Local News - JOSIAH TEOKOTAI

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.

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