Christmas Messages 2016 - 19 December 2016

Family Violence increases in New Zealand during the Christmas and holiday time.

One thing we can all do to help prevent family violence is learn to recognise the signs that violence is happening and take action to stop it.

Family violence is about one person controlling and intimidating others.  It’s not just physical and can be hard to detect, yet people often talk about ‘having a gut feeling’ that something wasn’t right when the violence is disclosed.

Here are some signs that family violence is happening.

Victims may be fearful of certain people or places.  They may keep you away or change plans at the last minute.  You might notice a change in personality, particularly in their self-esteem and confidence.  In child victims you might see a change in their behaviour and demeanour.

Perpetrators may act jealous and possessive and have to be in charge all the time.  You might notice they control what others do, that family members are scared and compliant.

If you see any signs that worry you or make you feel uncomfortable, take a closer look and think about a safe way to have a conversation with the person you are concerned about.  Read about scenarios or  more ideas for what to say or do.

Danger Signs

In NZ one woman is killed by her partner or ex-partner every month.  Signs that a woman is in danger of being killed by her partner or ex-partner are often missed by friends and family.

We can all save lives by knowing these seven deadly danger signs:

  • Controlling behaviour
  • Intimidation
  • Threats to kill
  • Strangulation and 'choking'
  • Worsening violence – more severe, more frequent
  • Intense jealousy or possessiveness
  • Stalking

If any of these are happening to someone you know, they are at risk of being killed by their partner.

The risk increases during or following separation. Don’t assume a victim is safe because she is planning to leave or has just left a violent relationship, many murders happen at this time.

If you see these signs it’s serious, don’t ignore it – get help now.

The Family Violence Information Line 0800 456 450 is open every day of the year from 9am to 11pm.

If you think someone is in danger call Police on 111.

For more information visit go to The Danger Signs

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