It’s not OK Campaign Holiday Messages 2017 - helping the ones you love
Family violence increases in New Zealand over Christmas and holiday times. Behind any of the abuse is a person choosing to behave that way.
While much family violence is hidden, often close friends or wider family have a gut feeling that something is wrong or even know about it. The abuse is usually part of a pattern of power and control and rarely a one-off incident even if that’s all anyone on the outside actually sees.
What if someone you care about is the one abusing their partner or family?
You might love them but you don’t like how they act and that they are hurting others. Maybe it’s subtle or it could be more obvious, like threats and physical harm. Perhaps it’s the way they talk down to their partner, humiliate them in front of others, or stop them coming to family events. The abuse could even be hidden behind a façade of happy faces, but you suspect something’s not right.
While a person being abusive is responsible for deciding to change, we we can all play a role in encouraging them to take the steps to do so.
Find out about family violence and intimate partner abuse so that you can recognise and name the abusive behaviour.
Our website has information on what family violence is; how to help someone being abusive or being abused, and what to say.
The positive relationship quiz may be a good conversation starter for identifying unhealthy and abusive behaviours.
Learn about the Danger Signs of abuse that can lead to serious harm or even death.
Don’t victim-blame or excuse the abuse.
The extra worries that can come with holiday time may contribute to violence but there’s still no excuse for abuse.
There are many reasons why someone being abused may find it hard to stand up to their abuser, leave or not return to them.
Try to understand those reasons and don’t judge the victim.
Check in if you are concerned about someone. If someone hints at or says that they are being abused, listen to them. No one deserves it.
Encourage them to seek support to change.
People who are being abusive may want to change but not know how to. Specialist support is available (and usually necessary) to help people stop being abusive and to learn healthy and non-violent behaviour. People around them who they love, trust and respect can also help support their behaviour change and keep them accountable.
Encourage them to phone the Family Violence Information Line on 0800 456 450 or to look up the family services directory for contacts for local services or courses such as anger management programmes.
Look after yourself.
Remember that you are not responsible for changing someone. Do what you can to help but take care of yourself first and keep yourself safe.
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 www.areyouok.org.nz
The meme below can be copied for sharing in your networks and on social media. https://www.facebook.com/ItsNotOK/