Family safety concerns everyone in our community and it is everyone's responsibility.
This is especially important when it comes to issues which can be difficult to talk about such as family violence. Family violence affects people of all ages, all incomes, all cultures and there are many people affected in our community. Family violence affects us all directly or indirectly. Any behaviour that makes someone else feel controlled and fearful is never OK. Everyone in a family should feel safe and nurtured.
What is family violence?
Family violence includes abuse and neglect. The law sees it as an abuse of human rights and it is a crime. Violence and abuse happens in many ways:
Children who see or hear family violence of any kind can suffer long-term or lifelong consequences.
It is OK to ask for help
We may feel powerless when we know family violence is happening or when we are involved in it, but it is OK to ask for help.
Positive change is possible. People can make the choice to stop their violence and live violence free.
Remember you are not alone. There are always skilled people in our community ready and able to help everyone involved.
It is OK to ask for help when:
- you are worried about relationships in your family. Every person in a family deserves to be treated with respect. When people are blaming, criticising, arguing or withdrawing then family relationships and people get damaged.
- you or other family members are scared or frightened. Are you at risk? Sometimes it's hard to know how serious things are getting. If you are scared or frightened about you or others being hurt, then it is already serious.
- you don't like your own behaviour. If family members show fear of you, find you hard to talk to or feel they have to do what you want them to, you need to consider changing your behaviour.
- you are worried about someone else and want to know how to help them. This could be a friend, neighbour, family member, child's friend, or workmate. Often people who are experiencing violence feel isolated and ashamed. Your support could be vital.
It is OK to help
The Family Violence Intervention Network offers free It Is OK to Help workshops because often when there's family violence, people want to help but don't know how. Are you:
- worried about how the kids down the road are being treated?
- not sure what to say to a colleague who comes to work with bruises?
- wondering what to do about your niece whose new boyfriend is controlling her every move?
Please call Whanganui Family Violence Intervention Network co-ordinator Lorraine Sheenagh on 027 234 3875.
What can you do?
Come and find out at a free workshop designed to help you – as a family member, friend, neighbour or workmate – know more about family violence and learn how to help effectively and safely.
The workshop will cover:
- How to recognise family violence.
- What you can do and say.
- What support services are available.
- People want help from those around them first.
- Everyone can do something to help stop family violence.
- What we do and say can make a difference.
To take part, please call the Whanganui Family Violence Intervention Network co-ordinator on 027 234 3875.
Whanganui Family Violence Intervention Network
The Whanganui Family Violence Intervention Network comprises more than 40 statutory, iwi and community organisations actively working to prevent and address the ongoing impacts of violence within our homes, whānau and families.
The purpose of the Whanganui Violence Intervention Network is to:
- Increase awareness of what family violence is and what help is available.
- Develop community-wide understanding and effective helping in response to family violence.
- Strengthen the collaboration of local agencies working with family members.
If you, or someone you know is in danger, phone 111
Agencies offering 24/7 services
Police – phone 111
Women's Refuge – 06 344 2204 or 0800 733 843
Free helplines offering 24/7 services
- For concerns about children's safety and well-being – 0508 326 459 (Oranga Tamariki).
- Crimestoppers (giving information about crime without revealing your identity) – 0800 555 111
- Rape & Sexual Abuse Crisis support line – 0800 88 33 00 (Safe to Talk - 0800 044 334)
- Shakti (for migrant women) – 0800 742 584
Local support services
The following agencies also work in rural Whanganui:
- Women's Refuge Whanganui
- Jigsaw Whanganui
- Family Violence Information Line – 0800 456 450, any day, 9.00am to 11.00pm
- Shine (confidential domestic abuse helpline) – 0508 744 633 + NZ Relay service (for deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired), any day, 9.00am to 11.00pm
- What's Up Free Helpline – 0800 942 8787 for anyone ages 5 to 18. Monday to Friday, 12.00pm to 11.00pm and Saturday, 3.00pm to 11.00pm.
See the top of this page for free helplines offering 24/7 services.
Language line free phone interpreting
Language Line provides interpreting (44 languages) for the following services listed above: Whanganui Police, Family Violence Information Line, Shine, and Child, Youth & Family. You say "Language Line, please" and then say the language you need. Wait for two minutes for an interpreter. Monday–Friday 9.00 am to 6.00 pm & Saturday 9.00 am to 2.00 pm.
Online help for non-urgent help is provided by:
- New Zealand Police: How to deal with family violence
- If you would like this information on a poster or in an electronic information sheet, please call 06 347 7992 and ask for the VIN co-ordinator. There is a general Information Sheet, and one for People Living with Disabilities, and one for Young People & Youth Workers. You can also call Whanganui Family Violence Intervention Network co-ordinator Lorraine Sheenagh on 027 234 3875.