Family violence

Keep your family safe during
COVID-19 Alert levels 2 and 3

We realise this can be a hard time for some families, as restrictions bring new pressures to whānau and home environments. If you feel fearful or threatened or If you think someone could be harmed or may harm themselves, call Police.

Police is here 24/7. We will come when you call. Everybody deserves to be safe, and feel safe.

If you’re in danger but can’t talk: call 111, stay silent, and push 55 and you will be put through to Police. This is how it works:

Calling from a mobile
If you do not speak, your call is directed to a recorded message. You will be asked to press 55 if you require emergency assistance. If you press 55 your call will go through to Police. The recorded message is repeated twice and if 55 is not pushed the call is ended.

Calling from a landline
If you do not speak, the 111 operator will ask you to press any number on your phone if you require an emergency service. If any button is pressed your call will go through to Police. The 111 operator will ask you twice to push any button and if no buttons are pushed the call is ended.

Find out more about calling emergency 111.

We know there are also people out there who don’t want to harm their loved ones but who are facing an internal struggle. Stay strong: walk away and take a moment so you don’t do something you’ll regret to someone you love.

You can reach out to us, or you can contact one of many support services listed on the Covid-19 website. They are there to support every member of your family and whānau.


  • In New Zealand, family violence is a crime. Police take it very seriously.
  • It is against the law for anyone to physically, sexually or psychologically abuse another person.
  • Examples of family violence include punching or kicking a family member, damaging property as a way of hurting someone, trying to control someone's life by constantly humiliating them, bullying, sexual mistreatment or controlling someone's money, time, car or contact with friends as a way of having power over them.
  • The most common types of family violence reported to Police involve violence against women and children. About 85% of victims reporting to Police are women.
  • Police recognise the serious harm family violence does to children who see or hear family violence. Police will also do their best to keep children safe from harm.
  • If you or a family member is in immediate danger from family violence then call Police on 111.
  • If family violence is happening in your home, you should tell someone you trust about this. Call a friend, family member or one of the groups listed below. If you don’t know who to talk to, call Police.
  • People suffering family violence can apply to get a protection order. You should seek advice from a lawyer or one of the support groups listed below.
  • Protection orders are issued in the Family Court and give legal protection against family violence for the person who applies for it and their children.
  • A protection order names the person who is committing the abuse and clearly explains what they can and cannot do. For example, a protection order may state that the person must not damage or threaten to damage property.
  • In normal circumstances, a temporary protection order can be granted on the same day or within a few days after you apply for it.
  • A protection order may also help protect your home and property.
  • If the person does not obey the protection order then Police can arrest them. The person will go to the District Court and could be ordered to pay a fine (money) or may go to prison.
  • Find out more about protection orders and the Domestic Violence Act
  • In New Zealand, there are strict domestic violence laws. For more information about these laws, start by reading the Domestic Violence Act 1995, or refer to the Family Court website.
  • Other agencies and people that can help you include: