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Plan For a Violence Free Christmas



Tu Wahine Trust


Friday 18 December 2009

Tu Wahine Trust asks Maori whanau to plan for a happy, safe and violence free Christmas.

Child and Youth Advocate Sue Ngawati Osborne from Tu Wahine Trust in Waitakere is asking Maori whanau to look out for family members who may be at risk of violence this Christmas. 

Instead of leaving the job to other authorities, Ms Ngawati Osborne suggests that the whanau has the authority to come together and discuss ways that family members can prevent violence from occurring. 

“Pay a visit to those who you know are at risk of violence, either dishing it out or receiving it, and offer them support over this time.  Let them know you care and that violence is unacceptable.  Offer a safe place or a cooling off place.  Show concern for the children who may be witness to the violence and discuss safety plans for all involved.   Prevention and planning is the key to having a safe and happy Christmas, and the more family members who are involved in this plan, the higher likelihood for success” says Ms Ngawati Osborne. 

Tikanga Maori or traditional Maori customs give Tuakana families (senior branches of families) and Tuakana family members (senior or elder members) the authority to intervene in this way.  “Let's use this authority to help prevent violence and restore the well being of the whanau”.

There are Maori service providers in the community such as Maori Women's Refuges, Maori Wardens, and Police Iwi Liason Officers who are there to help, offer support and give advice to whanau this holiday season. 

“Planning is the key.   Once you experience the success of your safety plans and the support of the whanau, happy Christmas memories are sure to follow for generations to come” says Ms Ngawati Osborne.


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