Steps you can take after family violence and harm

If anyone is in immediate danger call 111 and ask for police. They will arrange protection and support. If you’re in danger but can’t talk see about Silent Solution Calls here.

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The safety and protection of you and your family or whānau is most important. Everyone’s situation is different. The police can put immediate steps in place to protect you and your family or whānau. A support agency like Women’s Refuge or Victim Support can assist you, even if you don’t want to talk to police.

This page provides a range of steps you can choose to take. Click on the boxes below for information for your situation.

Call 111 and ask for the police. They will assist you and arrange protection and support for you and your family or whānau.

If you’re in danger but can’t talk, dial 111 and when someone answers, push 55 on a mobile, or any number on a landline, to be put through to police. The Police call taker will attempt to communicate with you by asking simple yes or no questions and you will be asked to push any keys on your phone in response to these questions.

If you are not able to speak, listen carefully to the questions and instructions from the call taker so they can assess your call and arrange assistance for you. If you can, it is always best to speak to the call taker even if it’s by whispering.

More information about Silent Solution Calls

Support services for those affected by family violence and harm of any kind are free, confidential, non-judgemental, and available to everyone.

Support can make things it easier. Let someone else know what’s happened or is continuing to happen.

Reach out to trusted family, whānau or friends and ask for their help.

Call any of the free and confidential family violence and harm national helplines below. They can talk with you about your situation and the choices you have.

  • Women’s Refuge - 0800 733 843 (24/7)
  • Shine - 0508 744 633, 9am to 11pm daily.
  • It’s Not OK - 0800 456 450, 9am to 11pm daily. They can provide information and put you in touch with services in your region.
  • Shakti for migrant and refugee women – 0800 742 584 (24/7).
  • Rape Crisis – 0800 88 33 00.
  • Elder Abuse – 0800 32 668 65 (24/7)
  • Victim Support - You can call us 24/7 on 0800 842 846 to be connected with a Support Worker.

If you’re deaf, you can call these helplines using the New Zealand Relay Service.

Choose a safe place to be, and safe people to be with. This is to make sure you are protected from the possibility of further harm.

Any of the helplines above can assist you to do this. They can also help you work out the next steps you can take.

If you or other members of your family or whānau have been injured, see a doctor, go to a hospital emergency department, or call an ambulance. Have the doctor prepare a report that can be shared with police, if you choose to do that.

When you feel ready, you can report to police. The safety and protection of you and others in your family or whānau is their highest priority.

  • Call the police non-emergency line on 105, or if it's an emergency call 111.
  • Report what has happened online.  
  • Go to your local police station and talk with the person at the front counter. They will advise you about what to do. You may be able to speak to an officer straight away. You can take a support person with you.

To report what has happened online.
To find your local police station.

If police attend a family violence or harm incident, they may choose to issue a police safety order. This means police can force someone to leave a home, even if they own it or normally live there. Police safety orders last for up to 10 days. You can’t ask for a police safety order. It is up to police to issue it.

The police will interview you to establish what happened and may ask you to give them a formal statement. They may also ask for permission to take photographs of any injuries as evidence and to obtain copies of any medical records relating to your injuries.

Talk with police or a lawyer about applying for a protection order that gives you protection from someone who has harmed you or others in your family or whānau. A Victim Support Worker can assist you to do this.

A protection order states a perpetrator must not hurt, threaten, or even just come near you, your children, or other members of family or whānau living with you. There are different types of protection orders police can put in place, such as a non-contact order.

See the NZ Police information about protection orders.

See the Ministry of Justice booklet about Family Violence and Protection Orders.

See the Ministry of Justice information about free legal services available to help you.

A Parenting Order
You can apply for a Parenting Order if there’s a dispute about who looks after the children and when (day-to-day care) or when parents and others see the children (contact). Day-to-day care used to be called "custody" and contact used to be called "access".

An Order to Settle a Dispute between Guardians
You can apply for an Order to Settle a Dispute between Guardians if you want the Family Court to make decisions about guardianship issues.  These issues include where the children live, where they go to school, medical treatment (other than routine medical matters), what their culture, language and religion will be and any changes to their name.

To apply for a Parenting Order or Order to Settle a Dispute between Guardians, click here.

Men can also be victims of harm and violence.

Safe to Talk
This is a helpline that supports men, and people of any gender, who have experienced harm. They can be accessed free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by phone, text, website, online chat and email on:

Other services
There are also some other nationwide family violence and harm support services that are for everyone, including men.

  • Shine - 0508 744 633, 9am to 11pm daily.
  • It’s Not OK - 0800 456 450, 9am to 11pm daily. They can provide information and put you in touch with services in your region.

There are services available around New Zealand providing general support specifically for men, and in most cases they can assist men who are victims of family violence and harm. To find as men's service near you, search the Family Services Directory. (Choose the subsection Family Violence and key word - men.)

If you have experienced sexual abuse or sexual assault either recently or in the past, Male Survivors Aotearoa provides support services for you.

Intimate partner and family violence and harm can happen in any type or relationship – whether you’re straight or part of the rainbow community.

Safe to Talk
This is a helpline that supports people of any gender who have experienced harm. They can be accessed free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by phone, text, website, online chat and email on:

Other services
There are also some other nationwide and local family violence and harm support services that are for everyone, including the rainbow community.

If you are in immediate danger, call the police on 111

  • OUTLineNZ: 0800 688 5463 (9am-9pm weekdays, 6pm-9pm weekends)
  • RainbowYOUTH: (09) 376 4155 (11am-5pm weekdays)
  • TOAH-NNEST: 24-hour helplines based on your location
  • Youthline: 0800 37 6633 (free 24-hour line) or free text 234 
  • Women’s Refuge: 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843 (free 24-hour line)
  • Shakti: 0800 SHAKTI (free 24-hour line)
  • Shine: 0508 744 633 (9am-11pm, 7 days a week)
  • InsideOUT - scroll down for a wide range of youth support options

Helpful resources

Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura – Outing Violence  raises awareness of partner and sexual violence in Rainbow communities, and develops strategies and resources in consultation with communities around Aotearoa New Zealand.

See the Police Rainbow Communities Family Harm pamphlet

You, Me / Us Booklet is a resource for LGBTI about healthy relationships and where to go for support if things go wrong.

 

The Family Violence Information Disclosure Scheme (FVIDS) is a scheme that allows potential victims of family violence and harm, or concerned relatives or friends, to request information relating to any history of violence by a  person. The aim is to enable a partner of someone who has previously been violent to make informed choices about whether and how they continue the relationship.

More about FVIDS.

Contact one of the agencies listed in the Tell someone and find support section above. They can help you make a safety plan and discuss ways you could end or leave a relationship that is harming you and/or others in your home. You can see some examples of how to make your own safety plan below.

A safety plan for you and your family or whānau can increase your safety and remind you about what to do if anyone feels unsafe or is in immediate danger. A support agency like Victim Support or Women’s Refuge can help you to do this.

A safety plan involves getting things prepared ahead of time. Everyone’s situation is different,

Examples of some safety plans and tips on how to make one:

Shine’s Safety Planning
Women’s Refuge Safety Plan
Wellington Women’s Refuge Safety Plan tips

Digital and phone technology is an important part of how we connect. From buying things to organising to meet friends or family, going online is now a big part of how most New Zealanders live everyday. It has its positives, but there are risks too. In situations of family harm or violence, victims of any age could be harassed, bullied or abused using phones or online devices. Here are some practical steps to make sure you (or your children, family, whānau, or friends) are not harassed or harmed by someone's words, images or videos via phone, social media, or the Internet.

If you’re concerned about the immediate safety of you or someone else, please call 111. 

If you want help or expert incident advice, contact Netsafe
Netsafe is New Zealand’s respected and reliable online safety organisation. Their advice and support is free, non-judgemental, and available seven days a week.

  • Email help@netsafe.org.nz
  • Call toll free on 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723)
  • Online report at netsafe.org.nz/report
  • Text ‘Netsafe’ to 4282
  • Netsafe’s contact centre is available from 8am – 8pm weekdays and 9am – 5pm weekends and public holidays.

Netsafe information is kept up to date. See these helpful sections on their website and look out for their other topics that might help you also.

Using your phone safely

Ways Victim Support keeps you safe online

  • If you’re in danger but can’t talk see about Silent Solution Calls here.
  • To make a quick exit from this page click on the 'Quick Exit' button on the top right. 
  • To hide evidence of your visit to this site click on the 'Hide My Visit' button at the bottom of this page.

These well known Online companies also provide safety and privacy information and tools:

To stop Google tracking you - see these recent articles for tips

What is identity theft? What can I do if I think I am a victim of it?
Identity theft is using the identity information of another person to pretend to be them. This can have serious consequences for people. The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) offers this helpful information about identity theft.

The National Home Safety Service  (including personal panic alarm)
This free service helps victims of family violence and harm to stay in their homes by reducing the risk of violence through practical measures like installing security lights, providing monitored personal panic alarms, replacing locks and fixing broken windows, and connecting them with other support agencies.  

Women’s Refuge’s Whānau Protect Programme provides this national service and it is available in most locations around New Zealand to victims of domestic violence who are at high risk of repeat family violence that is likely to cause serious physical injury or death.

As this is a service for those victims at very high risk, some key criteria must be met. To find out if you might be eligible or to submit an application for this service, please go to this link.

If you have any questions about the service please contact Whanauprotect@refuge.org.nz or talk to your local Women's Refuge on 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843.

Free and Confidential Safety Services provided by Ministry of Justice
These are available to you if you’re a victim of family violence and harm going through a criminal court, or you’ve applied for a Protection Order through the Family Court and are waiting for a decision. These services are available by phone or face-to-face. They can help you deal with the effects of the violence and harm, feel more confident and to move forward with your life. You can learn how to keep safe and be given some practical information about how protection orders work.

There are also courses especially for children to help them understand the effects of any violence and harm they've seen or experienced.

If you’d like a course for yourself or your children, talk to your lawyer or to court staff. They'll make sure you get access to the course nearest you. There's no time limit on the availability of a Safety Course for a protected person (adult or child). The only requirement is that the protection order is still in force.

More information about these Ministry of Justice free safety services can be found here.

The ACC Sensitive Claims Unit provides free and confidential access to support for people affected by sexual violence, including free counselling. More information on this service can be found on ACC's website, or you can free call 0800 733 842 or email sensitiveclaims@acc.co.nz .

For all other ACC-related enquiries or injuries resulting from family violence and harm, call 0800 222 822 or to their website.

ACC therapy and counselling services.
ACC

If you or a child you care for is affected by family violence and harm, you can ask your employer for paid domestic violence leave and flexible working arrangements. More information about this can be found on the websites below.

Domestic violence leave
Information for employers

Downloads

Family violence and harm: Supporting children and young people