21 Aug 2021

Victims, survivors of family violence urged to seek help, despite lockdown

8:10 am on 21 August 2021

Victims and survivors of family violence are being urged to seek help, even though the country is in lockdown.

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File image. Photo: 123rf

Chief Victims Advisor Kim McGregor said the police and other support agencies were essential services, so they continued to operate.

Many people and families would be more experiencing more stress at home, McGregor said.

"Even though we are currently in self-isolation, we still want to hear from you if you, or someone in your bubble is being hurt," she said.

If someone is in immediate danger they should call the police on 111. If it is not safe to speak, people can call 111, stay silent and push 55.

Police will understand the silence to be an alert.

"Leaving your home to get yourself and/or others to safety is considered an essential form of travel and you will not be in breach of the level 4 restrictions if you leave your neighbourhood for these reasons," McGregor said.

"Sometimes it is unsafe for you to reach out for help while you are in the same space as the person who is hurting you. If you can't communicate safely through phone, text, email or social media, maybe your friends, whānau or neighbours could help.

"Neighbours, please do your best to keep an eye on those around you and look for signs that someone may need help, such as if there are any sounds of violence, yelling, crying, family members looking afraid and withdrawn or someone in distress. But please also remember to maintain a safe distance and maintain your 'bubble' during this time."

People are also still able to access safe, emergency accommodation if they need it, at alert level 4.

Other practical support also continues to be available.

Where to get help

Women's Refuge: (0800 733 843)

It's Not OK (0800 456 450)

Shine: 0508 744 633

Victim Support: 0800 650 654

HELP Call 24/7 (Auckland): 09 623 1700, (Wellington): be 04 801 6655 - 0

The National Network of Family Violence Services NZ has information on specialist family violence agencies.

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