Family harm is a high priority for Police and reducing the number and impact of family harm episodes is a key Police strategy.
Police take every opportunity to prevent harm and reduce offending and victimisation. Police is committed to a prompt, effective and nationally consistent approach to family harm episodes in collaboration with other agencies/iwi and with community partners.
Family violence can be physical, sexual or psychological. It is not a private matter, it is a crime. Preventing and effectively responding to family violence is one of the greatest opportunities to improve the wellbeing and safety of our communities, and we all have a role to play.
Remember, in an emergency call 111. Your call could save a life.
Signs that someone is being harmed by a member of their family include:
- Controlling behaviour
- Threats to kill
- Strangulation and choking
- Physical or sexual violence
- Jealousy or possessiveness
Children living in homes where family violence is present may:
- Be fearful
- Be silent and withdrawn
- Be aggressive
- Be unusually well-behaved
- Show signs of violence or bruising
- Suddenly change behaviour
- Often be absent from school.
People experiencing family violence may be:
- Fearful or nervous
- Isolated or reclusive
- Sad or angry
- Lacking in confidence
- Keeping secrets
- Worried about a love one’s reaction
If you suspect someone close to you is a victim of family violence, it’s okay to get involved – you could save a life. You could ask them:
- Are you OK?
- Is someone hurting you?
- Is there anything I can do?
Other tips include:
- Always call Police is you think someone is in danger
- Talk about having a safety plan
- Listen and take what they are saying seriously
- Don’t tell them what to do – let them make their own decisions, however long it may take
- Give support, not advice.
Further information and support
If you are a victim of family violence or in a relationship that makes you fearful about your own or anyone else's safety, seek help as soon as possible. You have the right to be safe.
- Women’s Refuge crisis line | 0800 733 843 - 24 hours |
- Family violence information line | 0800 456 450 |
- Shine National Helpline | 0508 744 633 -9am to 11pm |
- Shakti – for women from migrant and refugee communities | 0800 742 584 - 24 hours
- National network of stopping violence | 03 391 0048 |
- Elder Abuse Helpline | 0800 32 668 65 - 24 hours
- Gandhi Nivas | 0800 426 344 |