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Call For Support To Help Those Experiencing Family Violence This Christmas

Specialist family violence service Shine is calling for public support to help those experiencing violence at home by donating to its 12 Days of Christmas appeal.

Fundraising GM Lisa Rudolphe says the festive season can be a time of dread for people experiencing family violence as the risk of violence often escalates.

“This time last year, Shine saw an increase in family violence referrals across central Auckland. Unfortunately, this is likely to be exacerbated this year by the financial pressure many families are under.

“The latest NZ Police statistics report that officers are now responding to a family harm incident every three minutes, and that two-thirds of serious assaults* are family harm-related.

“To enable us to meet this demand, we’ve launched the 12 Days of Christmas appeal.

“The initiative gives the public the opportunity to cover one or more of 12 essential items people need when they arrive at a Shine refuge. Each day for 12 days, the cost of a different item like support from a Shine advocate, a safety plan, bus and train passes, clothes, or even a bed to sleep on will, be posted on Facebook and Instagram.”

Lisa says the 12 Days of Christmas appeal, which starts on December 1, offers people a practical way to support women who often leave family violence situations with just the clothes on their backs.

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“To get away safely, people often need to leave at a moment’s notice to escape family violence. The 12 Days of Christmas appeal will help Shine provide the services and essential items women and their children need when they arrive at a refuge with next to nothing and no money.”

Shine provides immediate crisis response, including critical care packs to help with emergency situations, safety planning, support with legal aid and counselling, advocacy and safe houses. People also often need a new phone as well as replacement medication and simple things like a hairbrush.

When Beth (not her real name) was referred to Shine, she needed clothes, toiletries, nappies, a new phone and food for herself and her two children.

“By supporting 12 Days of Christmas, people are helping Shine provide practical support to people experiencing family violence. The ultimate goal is to get people back on their feet and to start rebuilding their lives,” says Lisa.

Family violence is not only physical violence, it is often behaviours used to control the other person, or make them feel afraid, threatened, or intimidated.

Examples of intimidation include jealousy, surveillance, stalking, shaming, degradation and destruction of property, and violence directed at children or pets.

* for the year ended June 2022. Source: annual-report-2021-2022.pdf (police.govt.nz) page 17.

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