Supporting others 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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You can make an important difference. If you think someone you know is a victim of family violence and harm, you can help them to be safe and protected.

If a person feels believed, supported, and encouraged, they can feel stronger and more able to make choices and take steps to change their situation. However, if they feel judged, criticised, or not believed, they may not tell anyone else about their situation again.

Ask them

  • Are you OK?
  • Is someone hurting you or your children or someone else in your family or whānau?
  • Is there anything I can do?
  • What support do you need the most?

Listen
Take what they are saying seriously. Believe them and don’t judge. If they’re not ready to reach out for support, don’t give up. It can take time for victims to be ready to reach out for help. If the violence and harm doesn’t happen often, or they still love the person, they may be hoping the violence and harm will stop. Keep reminding them of your concern and support. Be there for them.

If you think someone is in danger, always call police
In an emergency call 111.

Call the police non-emergency number on 105 or go online to report what has happened.
105 Police non-emergency reporting

Go to your local police station and talk with the person at the front counter. They can advise you about what to do. You may be able to speak to an officer straight away. Consider taking a support person with you.
To find a local police station

If you suspect someone might now be in a relationship with a person who has previously been violent and abusive
The Family Violence Information Disclosure Scheme (FVIDS) aims to help prevent family violence and harm. It allows concerned new partners, relatives, or close friends, to request information from police about any history of violence someone may have. If the person has been previously violent, the information enables their new partner to make informed choices about their relationship.
For more information about the Family Violence Information Disclosure Scheme

Helplines you can call

Ask for information and advice on ways to support the person you are concerned about.

  • 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, for services in your own region
  • Shakti 0800 742 584 – 24/7, for migrant and refugee women
  • Rape Crisis 0800 88 33 00
  • Elder Abuse  0800 32 668 65 (24/7)
  • Victim Support 0800 842 846 (24/7)

If you’re deaf, you can call these help lines by going to the New Zealand Relay Service website here.

Other useful websites and information

Help Someone You Know (Shine) (search 'Help Someone You Know')
I Want to Help (It’s OK to ask for Help)
Things I can do or say – video and tips (Are you okay?)
Keeping Kids Safe and Secure (Are you okay?)
Safer Homes Booklet (Shine)

Downloads

Dealing with flashbacks
Family violence and harm: Supporting children and young people