Christmas is the time of goodwill, and summer is associated with relaxing family time – but in reality it is also a time when family violence rises.
Alcohol-fuelled family differences, stress from financial pressures, end-of-year exhaustion…there are many reasons but no excuses for abusive behaviour.
In the majority of cases, but not all, women, children and vulnerable people are the ones who suffer.
So although White Ribbon Day was on 25 November, Waikato DHB is continuing its family violence prevention campaign right through the summer months.
“The messages are simple, positive and practical,” says Waikato DHB family violence intervention coordinator Kim To’angutu. “We hope they will be reminders that people can take in at a glance.
“Members of our staff have volunteered to front a poster campaign, including a nurse, play specialist, doctor, service manager and social workers. These are people who see the results of family violence in their daily work,” she says.
“We want people who are experiencing abusive behaviour in their family, or who are concerned about someone else, to feel safe to talk to our staff about it or to contact a support service.
“The underlying theme is always: Family violence is not OK. But it is OK to ask for help.”
People visiting Waikato DHB hospitals, Facebook pages and its websites will see the campaign from December through to the end of March.
Contacts and useful websites:
Waikato Women’s Refuge: (07) 855 1569
Hamilton Abuse intervention Project: (07) 834 3148
Rape and Sexual Abuse Healing Centre: 0800 839 4433
Parentline: (07) 839 4536
Family Works: (07) 858 4413
Barnados: (07) 847 1088
Shama Ethnic Women’s Centre: (07) 843 3811
K’aute Pasifika Services: (07) 834 1482
tewhakaruruhau.org.nz (local Waikato Women’s Refuge)