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Weekly Media Roundup

August 27, 2021 at 4:55 PM

Stuff: 'If you are unsafe, leave your bubble': Minister stresses message to violence victims

Fears of being punished for breaking their bubble saw domestic abuse victims stay at home despite the danger last lockdown – because safety messages did not get through.

Women told social workers they were “too anxious and scared” to leave during the level four lockdown last March, not only because of the threat of their abuser finding them, but because they thought they might be arrested or told off by members of the community.

Human Rights Commission report on the impact of Covid-19 and the increase of domestic violence against women the fear extended to possible abusers – who told agencies they had places to go but didn’t leave because of the threat of arrest.

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RNZ: Victims, survivors of family violence urged to seek help, despite lockdown

Victims and survivors of family violence are being urged to seek help, even though the country is in lockdown.

Chief Victims Advisor Kim McGregor said the police and other support agencies were essential services, so they continued to operate.

Many people and families would be more experiencing more stress at home, McGregor said.

"Even though we are currently in self-isolation, we still want to hear from you if you, or someone in your bubble is being hurt," she said.

If someone is in immediate danger they should call the police on 111. If it is not safe to speak, people can call 111, stay silent and push 55.

Police will understand the silence to be an alert.

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Scoop: Chief Victims Advisor To Government: Support Available For Victims During Lockdown

Press Release: Ministry of Justice

New Zealand’s Chief Victims Advisor to Government, Dr Kim McGregor, wants victims and survivors of family violence and sexual violence to know that the Police and social services are there to help them even through this period of lockdown.

“My message for all New Zealanders: You are not alone. It’s not ok for anyone to hurt you. Violence is still a crime,” says Dr McGregor.

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NZ Herald: Covid 19 coronavirus Delta outbreak: Support available for whānau and communities affected

Whānau and communities affected by current Covid-19 alert levels are being encouraged to access the support available through the Ministry of Social Development and Whānau Ora.

"Government is continuing to move hard and early to stomp out Covid-19 from our communities," Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said.

"This includes working closely with social service, community, iwi and Whānau Ora organisations who are best placed to respond to the needs of their communities impacted by the current alert level change."

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Stuff: Victims of family violence struggle for options as lockdown continues

Victims of family violence are unable to escape their homes during lockdown as usual emergency accommodation services won't take them, support services say.

Families across Manawatū are living in unsafe situations and as alert level 4 continues until at least midnight on Friday for most of the country, there is concern domestic violence will rise.

There were 654 reports of family violence across the country made to police the day after the 2020 alert level 4 lockdown announcement – a record second only to a notoriously violent New Year’s Day.

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Stuff: Covid-19: Don't let pets stop you leaving in level 4, family violence victims urged

Domestic violence victims are being urged not to let pets be a barrier to leaving, with police already seeing a spike in reports of family harm during level 4.

The country’s first refuge for animals whose owners are trying to escape family violence opened in Auckland earlier in August, and has already taken in 15 pets.

Pet Refuge has worked with police and family violence agencies to bring animals to the shelter under level 4 restrictions.

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Stuff: Family violence and pet abuse: He killed his partner's cat to control her

When Debbs Murray​ returned home with her kids from a trip to visit her mum, she noticed one of her kittens was missing.

She asked her then-partner where it was. He said he’d thrown it out the car window and run it over.

When Murray realised her other cat was limping, he told her he’d broken its legs. His message was clear: “Don’t leave me again.”

“Hearing the words coming out of my aggressor’s mouth that he had harmed and killed my pets were devastating and had the exact impact he wanted. He had got what he wanted. He controlled me through harming my pets,” she says.

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Stuff: Covid 19: Family violence spikes during alert level 4

Family violence in the region has spiked since the beginning of Alert Level 4, with the number of reported incidents increasing since last year’s lockdown.

Nelson Women’s Refuge manager Diane Strong said that Monday, August 23 was the “worst day ever” for the refuge, with 41 calls from Nelson through to Motueka. Usually they average maybe 20, she said.

“That’s a huge increase.”

Strong said that Green Party leader Marama Davidson’s message telling people to leave their bubbles if they’re unsafe is one of the reasons why they are receiving more alerts than last year.

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Stuff: Intergenerational violence: When the screams and shouting become 'normal'

Matt Brown can still remember waking at 3am to the sounds of his mother’s screams and his parents fighting.

He would make eye contact with his little brother lying in his bed on the other side of the room. “Dad is at it again.” And then they would turn and go back to sleep.

“It became normal,” says Brown. “Violence was part of our everyday lives. The screams, the shouting, the blood on the walls. It was constant.”

Brown’s violent upbringing is hardly unusual. New Zealand has one of the highest rates of family violence in the developed world, with more than half a million people directly affected by family violence each year. For many, violence is passed from generation to generation.

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Stuff: The stalking was so bad, she thought he would kill her. The law couldn't help

More than a decade after Maya* left her partner, she is still hounded by him.

He wants to know what she’s doing every moment of every day. To find that out, he will break into her house to look through her computer, steal mail, follow her to work, hide in a ditch outside her house, and call and text her constantly.

He will use other people to stalk her, getting them to keep tabs and lay false police complaints about her.

She’s not free from him in her work life either. He has done everything he can to sabotage her career, making “relentless” false complaints to WorkSafe and professional bodies. She has to keep her job off LinkedIn and warn colleagues about the safety measures she needs to take.

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Stuff: Breaking Silence: Stranger danger is not the only form of rape

Amy Coronakes knows that rape doesn’t always involve violence or a stranger.

Her perpetrator, Craig Koning, the former boss of the Floating Foundation, was sentenced in April to five years’ jail for raping her twice in 2004, an act which happened when he was her boyfriend, and that led to a pregnancy and termination.

“People don’t understand. Just because someone doesn’t hit you, doesn’t mean you’re not in an abusive relationship. Sometimes it’s about being made to do things during sex that you didn't agree to do.”

She believes the pervasive belief that intimate partner rape doesn’t happen stops people standing up and seeking help.

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RNZ: Signs of support for Pasifika in NZ amid lockdown strain

Pacific communities in New Zealand's main city centres are encouraged to seek support amidst the nationwide lockdown.

Meanwhile, the government has urged church leaders to advise their congregations to get tested for Covid-19, hastening to add that Pasifika peoples are not being judged.

The chief executive of The Fono, Tevita Funaki, said that before the latest Covid-19 outbreak, many whānau had been getting back on their feet after earlier pandemic disruptions.

He said the latest developments will be a real setback for them and they were likely to experience increased levels of anxiety and stress, especially for those who cannot work from home.

"We're very concerned around the level of hardship of families. I think families were starting to get back into the normality of things, economically."

Funaki said The Fono was gearing up to provide more food, financial, welfare and mental health support.

He noted that families with children will be facing extra stress with schools reverting to online learning.

"In the previous lockdowns we see slight prevalence in terms of increased distress in mental health, and also the rate around family violence."

Funaki said The Fono will also be keeping a close eye on rates of family violence.

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Stuff: Hidden in the shadows: 'Homeless youth at crisis point'

Youth homelessness is a hidden problem, but advocates say it is a ‘’growing crisis’’ society can’t afford to ignore. VICKI ANDERSON reports.

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Stuff: Keeping well during lockdown: From seeking help, to learning to thrive in crisis

Lockdown can pose the best of times, or it can cause your mental health to deteriorate. It can end relationships, or worse, lead to more domestic abuse.

The story of lockdown is vastly different for every family. A study of New Zealand families from our first nationwide lockdown, released serendipitously last week on the morning before we entered our second nationwide alert level 4 lockdown, shows the unique challenges lockdown brings – and the huge disparity of its impact on wellbeing.

Psychologists spoke to Stuff to share their observations, findings and advice as the country grapples with a significant outbreak of Covid-19.

It’s clear, lockdowns are hard for many; parents, especially.

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1 News: Good as Gold: Papatoetoe woman furnishes homes with domestic violence charity

A Papatoetoe woman is taking her difficult past and using it to help others in similar situations with a charity she created helping turn houses into homes.

Kerryn Thrupp, this week’s ASB Good as Gold recipient on Seven Sharp, established Woven Earth, which furnishes homes for women and men who have left domestic violence.

"Quite often you leave with nothing,” her nominator, Steph Jury, said.

Jury has previously endured the displacement and confusion that comes from fleeing domestic violence.

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Newsroom: Jo Cribb: The invisible women

Half our homeless are women, high by world standards. It seems that in Aotearoa, a women’s place is not her home 

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NZ Herald: Covid 19 coronavirus Delta outbreak: More alcoholism likely in lockdown, but spirits drinkers may go dry, researcher says

Data from the first national lockdown a year ago showed almost 20 per cent of New Zealanders increased their booze consumption, Dr Nicki Jackson said.

"Half stayed the same, and about a third reduced," said Jackson, from Alcohol Healthwatch.

But she said overall alcohol intake rose in the previous lockdown, probably because existing heavy drinkers drank much more than before, lifting the overall average.

Nuanced rules about booze availability in lockdown were probably influencing current drinking patterns, Jackson said.

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Stuff: Man who assaulted ex-partner days after serious charge dropped has appeal dismissed

A man who attacked his ex-partner and threatened to kill her and her mother has failed to have his jail term shortened.

Justice Simon France said if anything, Chea Paratene Charles Brattle-Hemara Haeana’s​ 13-month sentence was on the lighter end.

The defendant, who uses the last name Hemara, committed a range of crimes against his ex-partner.

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Category: News Media