Refuge launches gift ap­peal

Presents sought for kids af­fected by fam­ily vi­o­lence

Te Awamutu Courier - - News -

Women’s Refuge has launched its na­tion­wide Give a Gift ap­peal, ask­ing Ki­wis to donate presents to chil­dren af­fected by do­mes­tic vi­o­lence this Christ­mas.

Bun­nings is pleased to be sup­port­ing the cam­paign by en­cour­ag­ing res­i­dents to drop off do­na­tions at their lo­cal store un­til Fri­day, De­cem­ber 21.

Women’s Refuge chief ex­ec­u­tive Dr Ang Jury says it can be com­mon for women who are flee­ing from vi­o­lent re­la­tion­ships around Christ­mas to leave with noth­ing, which in­cludes the presents un­der the tree.

In De­cem­ber last year, al­most all of the Women’s Refuge safe houses around the coun­try were at ca­pac­ity, with 1629 chil­dren among the oc­cu­pants.

“Christ­mas is a par­tic­u­larly stress­ful time of the year for most peo­ple, and the ad­di­tion of fam­ily vi­o­lence can se­ri­ously im­pact what is sup­posed to be a joy­ful and fun oc­ca­sion for all,” says Ang.

“All of the wha¯nau we work with dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son just want to give their kids a safe and happy Christ­mas — we be­lieve ev­ery child de­serves this.

“We need New Zealand’s help so that all the fam­i­lies we work with can open a gift on Christ­mas day and cel­e­brate the hol­i­day with joy and dig­nity.”

Ang says while gifts are needed for all chil­dren do­ing it tough, teenage boys can of­ten be for­got­ten at Christ­mas.

“Boys aged 8-16 can be an es­pe­cially tough age to buy for, and be­cause of this they of­ten miss out on presents at Christ­mas. Nice cloth­ing, sports equip­ment such as soc­cer balls and cricket sets, head­phones and back­packs are all use­ful gifts for young boys.

“For all age groups, sooth­ing toys and equip­ment are most help­ful in the af­ter­math of trauma such as sen­sory toys, art sup­plies or build­ing blocks that cre­ate en­ter­tain­ment for a long time. We ask that gifts are un­wrapped, so they can be best dis­trib­uted to lo­cal Women’s Refuge cen­tres who will as­sist fam­i­lies in need.”

Un­for­tu­nately, New Zealand has one of the high­est rates of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in the world, with an act of fam­ily vi­o­lence re­ported ev­ery five and a half min­utes. In 2017, 4847 women and chil­dren called on the help of Women’s Refuge dur­ing the Christ­mas pe­riod.

Gift do­na­tions ac­cepted at all Bun­nings stores un­til Fri­day, De­cem­ber 21. Check our Face­book page for a chart of sug­gested gifts.

Photo / Sup­plied

Women's Refuge chief ex­ec­u­tive Dr Ang Jury with Judd and Jazmyn War­brick and mem­bers of her lo­cal Bun­nings team.

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