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Increasing violence in New Zealand is a worrying trend that as a society, we must do something about.
  • Most violence happens within families.
  • Most family violence is carried out by men and directed against women and children. One out of seven women who are living with a partner has been assaulted by them. Other abusers include sons, sons-in-law, brothers, and fathers.
  • The violence is often triggered or aggravated by alcohol.
  • The women who are beaten are physically, emotionally, and sexually abused, some receive serious injuries and some die.
  • Family violence and abuse is often carried over from generation to generation, becoming the cradle for perpetuating violence and crime in the community. Children who are subjected to violence in their home, or who see violence carried out there, very often repeat violent behaviour in their adult lives, modelling themselves on their parents. They accept as normal the lies, manipulation and violence they have in their own lives, but also suffer from being witness to it.
  • Family violence is usually repetitive, and by the time anybody gets to hear about it, has usually been going on for some time.
  • Women in violent relationships agonise over their situation, and fear what will happen if they leave, fear that their partner will retaliate. They feel trapped, are concerned for their children, worry about having nowhere to live, no money. no transport, and they have little social support.
  • As a result of their experiences most victim usually lack self-confidence. All they want is the violence to stop and yet they can feel guilty and even responsible for it.
Assaulting someone is against the law. If anyone in your family has assaulted you they have committed a crime.

Living in a violent relationship is dangerous. No one has to put up with it. The Police and Women's Refuge are able to help. Don't delay calling the police or leaving a violent partner until the violence is so severe that you fear for your life and the lives of your children.

The Police are there to protect you and will directly intervene. People who violently assault family members, or breach NonMolestation or Non-Violence Orders, will be arrested. Women's Refuge can offer practical advice, help, and support.

Violent behaviour means physically and sexually exerting power and control. You are probably living in a violent relationship if the person you live with:
  • Threatens to beat you or hurt you.
  • Does beat you and hurt you.
  • Coerces you into doing things you don't want to do.
  • Makes you ask for money, takes your money, gives you an allowance, stops you from having a job.
  • Treats you like a servant, makes all the big decisions, lays down rules for your behaviour
  • Makes you feel bad. crazy,guilty, humiliates you. puts you down, calls you names.
  • Won't let you have any friends, limits your outside activities, controls what you do.
  • Makes you afraid for yourself and your children all the time.
  • Threatens you with firearms.
You may:
  • Get headaches or backaches.
  • Have trouble sleeping.
  • Feel fuzzy in the head, depressed, anxious and tense most of the time.
  • Have no energy
  • Think you are going mad.
  • Feel guilty and ashamed.
Living in an abusive relationship for a long time doesn't mean you have to continue living with it. The book "Fresh Start: A Self Help Book for New Zealand Women in Abusive Relationships" published by the National Collective of Independent Women's Refuges Inc., PO Box 5136, Wellington, and available from your local refuge, is an excellent guide to help you through your situation. Here is what you can do:
  • Call the local Women's Refuge. This does not mean you have to move into a refuge. The refuge is a community service and will be pleased to advise you of your options.
  • If there is no local Women's Refuge, call the local Victims Support Group. The local police station can give you the contact number.
  • Call the police when violence has occurred.
Violent people have to take responsibility for their actions and be held to account for them. They need help to stop their violence. It is OK to be angry. It is not OK to be violent.

If you or someone in your family has a violence problem, please seek help before something terrible happens. Men For Non Violence New Zealand, or groups connected with Te Runanga Tane 0 Aotearoa, may be able to help. Contact your local police station or Citizens Advice Bureau for more information. A very useful publication called "Reach Out" lists all the social services available throughout the country and is available from the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Police are available 24 hours a day. In an emergency phone 1 1 1. Tell the operator you want the Police, Ambulance, or Fire Service. The phone number 111 is a priority line and help will come as soon as possible. Stay calm when making the call, and do not hang up. Give your name, address, town and telephone number to the operator answering your call. Answer questions slowly and clearly. Emergency calls are free from all telephones, including payphones and cellular phones.

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Increasing violence in New Zealand is a worrying trend that as a society, we must do something about.

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