Family Safety

​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:

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Verbal
  • Threats
  • Intimidation
  • Sexual
  • Financial
  • Neglect
  • Battering

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.

Information and contact details for agencies which provide help and support

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…?

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, contact the Whanganui Family Violence Intervention Network
Co-ordinator on 06 345 6681.

Whanganui Family Violence Intervention Network

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. ​

Page reviewed: 25 Nov 2016 1:49pm