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Source: Covid-19 New Zealand Government Announcements

We know that family violence and sexual violence can escalate in times of crisis, including isolation.

As the lockdown continues, families and relationships may face additional stresses and fatigue. It is important to remember that you do not need to stay in your home or bubble if it is an unsafe environment.

Support services, such as refuges are working hard to support women and children to stay COVID safe and free from violence. They continue to encourage people to reach out, they are ready and available to help.

Many social services are providing supportive early interventions to help families and de-escalate the potential of violence.

Anyone who feels unsafe is encouraged to reach out to their support network or contact one of the support services listed on the Government’s COVID-19 website below.

For support with anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, you can call or text 1737 to talk with a trained counsellor for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For those who are feeling stressed, angry or worried about their behaviour, there is help available for them too. Acknowledging these feelings takes courage, especially during these difficult times. Reach out for support and help, and remember that you too can leave a situation if you need, in order to keep your loved ones safe.

We all need to be checking on our whānau, friends and neighbours to make sure they are safe in their bubble. If you are concerned about someone, reach out to support services.

Family violence and sexual violence crisis services can operate under Alert Level 4 and Alert Level 3. The Government recognises this is critical so our communities know there are specialist services available and ready to help.

People in danger or an emergency should contact Police on 111, follow the operator’s instructions if you cannot speak. If you cannot call, leave your bubble and ask a neighbour or passer-by to call for you.

You can also look for the shielded site button at the bottom on websites like The Warehouse, TradeMe, Countdown and others including the Joint Venture website (external link) – these shielded sites let you safely contact Women’s Refuge.

Support for family and sexual violence prevention