When someone nearby or close to you is suffering from violence it can be a scary and lonely time. You may feel scared for your own safety, or helpless and unsure of what to do to help.
If you have concerns about children who may have witnessed or experienced family violence, there are services available to help them. Contact Child, Youth and Family or Barnardos for more information.
Family violence affects many different people; men, women, children, people of all cultures and income levels. As a community we need to know what family violence is, and what we can do about it, to achieve our aim of all family and whānau living free from family violence in our region.
Sergeant Mal Drummond, the Community Section Supervisor with Nelson Police, says that responding to family violence is a priority for the Police and they will send the nearest Police member available.
Phoning the Police when violence is happening next door can be frightening, as you may be fearful for your own safety. Police can take steps to protect neighbours who make a report if the person is arrested and charged with a crime. Police can also issue an instant protection order (Police Safety Order) that will keep the person away from the home for five days.
Sergeant Drummond says that the Police would rather hear from concerned neighbours or members of the public even if you are not sure how serious the situation is.
Sergeant Drummond says he remembers being told a simple rule: “If a person displays either physical or verbal abuse that is clearly seen by neighbours or the public, then that person has made it a ‘public’ problem that cannot be ignored and should be reported.”
Click here to see a list of agencies who can provide support to Families and Whānau needing support.