Essential services functioning during Level 4

Domestic violence sadly will not stop while the country deals with COVID-19. Internationally there have been reports of increased incidences of family harm during these stressful times. If you have concerns about anyone’s wellbeing during this challenging period please contact Shine or Women’s Refuge, which are both classified as essential services, for support. If there is immediate danger please contact 111 and ask for the police.

If you would like to contact Shine please call their Helpline for domestic violence information and support for yourself, or advice about helping someone you know, at 0508-744-633. This number is answered 7 days a week, 9am to 11pm of Women’s Refuge on 0800 733 843 or you can contact your local Refuge here

Women’s Refuge have provided some excellent advice about the impact of COVID-19 on those experiencing violence and tips for providing assistance. They note:

“Some people using violence may use COVID19 to further isolate their partners. The impacts of the pandemic on families and communities do not cause violence, but it can mean abusers have more opportunities to perpetrate and conceal violence. Abusive people might withhold essential items from victims, [use] scare tactics about the virus, or prevent them from seeking help. Victims might feel reluctant to enter Refuges or seek social support if they think it will put their health at risk.” Although their services may look different and they may need to ask health questions, they remain open and able to assist.

If you are worried about a friend or loved one Women’s Refuge suggest:

You can support them by keeping in touch with them. Some people may find it difficult to talk while in isolation if the abusive person is monitoring their devices. You can:

  • Agree on a ‘code word’ in advance with your friend. If they message you that word, you can call the police and ask them to check on them.
  • Ask them if they have the essential things they need (such as food, medication, and sanitary items) and help them to get them. Some abusive people will withhold these items.
  • Help them to feel less isolated by setting up regular times to talk to you and to others.
  • Encourage them to get in touch with Women’s Refuge if they feel unsafe.”

For men who feel like they might harm a loved one or whanau member another valuable service is the Hey Bro helpline: 0800 Hey Bro (439 276) which is staffed 24/7

It is also important to note that the Family Court is still accepting urgent without notice applications for protection and parenting orders, and most family lawyers are set up to work from home to facilitate this. The Family Court have amended the requirements for applications, so that they can be made without requiring people to leave their homes and do not require people to have access to a printer or similar device – lawyers can now go from the initial discussion to filing an application with the Court and Legal Aid without having to meet in person at all.

There is a much larger list of organisations that may be able to assist anyone experiencing violence or concerned about someone else here.

If you are in immediate danger, call 111 and ask for the police.
Leaving a violent relationship can be the most dangerous time for you. Contact an organisation like Women’s Refuge or Shine* to work out a safety plan.
You can contact the following agencies for help.

Pacific Family Violence Support Service Providers in Auckland

Pacific Family Violence Support Service Providers outside Auckland


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