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Family Harm – Are They Okay?

National Manager Prevention Superintendent Eric Tibbott:

Family violence is a reality for thousands of families in New Zealand and remains a widespread problem in our communities.

Unfortunately this time of the year is one of the busiest times for Police attending family violence incidents.

We are aware that there are extra pressures at this time of year that can exacerbate relationship issues and put a strain on individuals and families.

Added financial stress, increased alcohol consumption, difficult relationships with extended family, decisions about where to spend holidays and access to children in separated families can all be factors.

We encourage people to seek help if they feel under stress or are otherwise not coping.

If someone is a victim of family violence or in a relationship that makes them fearful about their own or anyone else's safety, they should seek help as soon as possible.

If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instinct – everyone has the right to be safe.

Violence is never okay and we want all victims of crime to be assured that if they come forward, their case will be taken seriously and treated sensitively.

It is important that people are aware of the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship (red flags) and understand the factors that can make family violence a real risk:

Red flags / high risk factors to be aware of, include:

  • Stalking
  • Strangulation
  • Coercive and controlling behaviour
  • Suicide/homicide threats
  • Intimidation
  • Child abuse
  • Sexual assault
  • Worsening violence – more severe, more frequent
  • Intense jealousy or possessiveness
  • Use of weapons
  • Animal/pet abuse
  • Alcohol/drug/mental health issues
  • Community issues/isolation
  • Pregnancy/new birth
  • Victim voicing fear of harm
  • Separation

If you suspect someone close to you is a victim of family violence or feel something is not right, it’s okay to act on it – you could save a life.

If they are in immediate danger there are people who can help – call Police on 111.

We know there are also people who don’t want to harm their loved ones but who are facing an internal struggle.

Stay strong: walk away and take a moment so you don’t do something you’ll regret to someone you love.

If you are in immediate danger and you cannot call Police on 111, leave your house and get out of harm’s way.

Your safety comes first.

Get to a safe distance and then ask a neighbour, or a passer-by to call 111 for you.

If you’re in danger but can’t talk: call 111, and push 55 and you will be put through to Police.

This is how it works:

  • Calling from a mobile – if you do not speak, your call is directed to a recorded message.

You will be asked to press 55 if you require emergency assistance.

If you press 55 your call will go through to Police. The recorded message is repeated twice and if 55 is not pushed the call is ended.

  • Calling from a landline – if you do not speak, the 111 operator will ask you to press any number on your phone if you require an emergency service. If any button is pressed your call will go through to Police.

The 111 operator will ask you twice to push any button and if no buttons are pushed the call is ended.

Further information can be found at https://www.police.govt.nz/contact-us/calling-emergency-111

The following organisations can provide further support and information:

If you suspect someone close to you is a victim of family violence or feel something is not right, it’s okay to act on it – you could save a life.

If they are in immediate danger there are people who can help - Call Police on 111.

© Scoop Media

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