Everyone has problems sometimes. When problems happen the best things to do are to admit there's a problem, get help and don't give up – you can get through it.
It's important to take action and to look after yourself and people you care about.
If you don't feel safe, you can do something about it. Things you could do to keep yourself and others safe include:
- when you need help - ask for it, you don't have to deal with things alone
- tell people you trust (a parent, friend, teacher or police officer etc) about what you're worried about and what would make you feel safer. If they don't believe you or help you ask another person you trust
- get involved in a crime prevention group such as Students Against Dangerous Driving (SADD)
- share your safety ideas with leaders (e.g. school principals, the chair of the Board of Trustees, kaumatua and kuia, the mayor and local councillors, church leaders). Let them know what they could do to prevent crime and crashes by writing letters, making presentations, and using social media (Facebook etc) etc
- suggest ways in which the environment could be changed to make it safer –for example, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)
Problems you may face
Everyone has a right to be safe from other people. Bullying is a problem for many young people. You need to remember that:
- bullying is wrong
- nobody deserves to be bullied
- bullying is never the victim's fault
- if you are being bullied, tell an adult you trust
- if you see another person being bullied, tell an adult you trust.
Child abuse is when another person, usually someone more powerful than you, doesn't treat you nicely. This can happen in lots of ways including sexually or physically (by hurting you, touching your body in bad ways or doing things to you you don't like), or mentally and emotionally (by teasing you, picking on you, or making you really scared of them).
You need to remember that:
- all child abuse is wrong and is never the fault of the person it was done to
- nobody deserves to be abused
- child abuse must be stopped
- if you are being abused, tell an adult or a friend you trust
- if you know another young person is being abused, tell an adult or a friend you trust.
- if the first person you tell doesn't do anything, keep on telling people until someone does.
Cyber safety / being safe online
Doing things online (on the internet via computers or smart phones etc) can be risky, especially if people you don't know can chat to you or see your personal information. For example, you may be bullied by text or email, or you may agree to a face-to-face meeting with someone you met on the net.
Keep safe by only chatting online to people you already know and by avoiding sites that let others put you down or threaten you. Think about your safety at all times when you're online and make sure you use private settings etc.
If you are ever bullied, threatened or creeped out in any way make sure you tell an adult you know and trust - don't deal with it alone.
Drug and alcohol abuse
Some people use drugs and alcohol because they think it makes them happy and helps them cope with stress. Spending time with friends and talking to people you can trust are better ways to enjoy yourself and deal with things you're stressed about.
Drugs and alcohol can also cause problems, because they change the way your brain and body work. They can mess up your relationships (by making you do things you otherwise wouldn't do), cause physical and mental health problems, and lead to problems at school or work. You might also get into trouble with Police by doing things while you're drunk or wasted.
If you're worried about how drugs or alcohol might be affecting you or someone you know make sure you tell someone you can trust.
Theft is something that can affect lots of young people. When someone takes something that's not theirs without asking they are stealing (or committing theft). Theft is a crime and always affects other people. Make it harder for someone to steal your stuff by keeping things locked away in safe places or by keeping them within your view.
If anything of yours is stolen, make sure you tell an adult you can trust. You should also tell your local police about it.
Where to go for help
New Zealand Police
- Call your local police station and explain your concerns.
- Information about drugs and alcohol
- Information to protect you property
What's Up is a counselling phone line for children and young people 5-18 years old, staffed by trained counsellors.
P 0800 942 8787
Need support or want to talk?
P 0800 37 66 33
Free Text 234
Information and advice about cyberbullying.
Alcohol Drug Helpline
The Alcohol Drug Helpline offers free confidential information and support on any problem, issue or question about your own or someone else’s drinking or drug taking.
P 0800 787 797
This website provides quality information about illegal drugs and their associated harm.