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Addressing family violence is everyone’s responsibility

Media Statement 26 June 2014

Addressing family violence is everyone’s responsibility

The recent report from the Family Violence Death Review Committee (FVDRC) has highlighted how serious family violence is in our community.

“The report calls for a radical change in the way New Zealand responds to family violence; and we all have a responsibility to ending family violence. Family violence exists because we let it exist, and will continue to exist until our community decides to act” spokesperson Dr Rob Thomson said.

“The stories in the recent People’s report highlight that people can, and do make changes, and they need support and help to do so. There are some great services and programmes in Dunedin to help victims and offenders”.

“Unfortunately the agencies that are working with victims and offenders are over-stretched and under-resourced, and need community support to do their work.”

The Dunedin Collaboration Against Family Violence (DCAFV) is active in our community to raise awareness of family violence, and can provide training to groups about family violence and how to respond.

What can you do to help?

• If violence is a problem in your family, make a commitment to change. Its OK to ask for help.
• If you think someone is in danger, you need to call the Police on 111. It is much better to have called the police and be wrong, than do nothing and someone is hurt or killed.
• If you are worried about the relationship of a friend, colleague or neighbour – don’t ignore it, listen to your intuition. If you feel that things are not right, here are some things you could say:
“Are you ok?”
“I’m worried about how your partner checks up on you all the time.”
“It’s not OK to talk to your partner or kids like that.”
“If you ever need to talk about anything, I’m here for you.”
• It takes a lot of courage for someone who is in a violent relationship to talk about it. Take them seriously, tell them it’s not their fault, and help is available. Offer to go with them to get help.
• If someone you know is abusive or talks about wanting to hurt or control their partner or children, it is important to challenge the behaviour not the person. Tell them it is OK to ask for help. Many people who have been violent can and do change with the support of others.
• Support the agencies that are working to help people address the violence in their lives. They are under resourced and need the support of our community to continue their work.

Agencies that can help:

Support for victims of violence
Te Whare Pounamu Dunedin Women’s Refuge 0800 733 843
Shakti Ethnic Women Support Group 0800 742 574
Rape Crisis Dunedin 474 1592

Support for people who want to stop being violent
Stopping Violence Dunedin 0800 474 1121
Te Roopu Tautoko Ki Te Tonga 477 4670
Relationships Aotearoa 0800 735 283
www.svd.org.nz

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