Domestic abuse comes in all shapes and forms and can affect people from all walks of life, but one thing that remains consistent is the amount of help available 24/7.
“If you are scared, reach out – there are many support networks available to ensure people remain in a safe bubble during lockdown,” says Western Waikato Emergency Operating Centre Controller Wayne Allan.
“The effects of Covid-19 are causing enormous uncertainty and stress with whanau. It’s important to know that even though the country is in lockdown, Covid-19 safety plans have been implemented and support services are still operating.
“Help is just a phone call away.”
One local service providing ongoing help is Waitomo Waipa Women’s Refuge, which services the entire Western Waikato area including Te Awamutu, Cambridge, Waitomo, Otorohanga, and rural and coastal townships.
Manager Wendy Valler says it is important now more than ever to seek help if people are at risk of experiencing any form of abuse.
“We have noticed a small increase in requests for help, but we also understand it’s more difficult to reach out and get help at the moment.
“Family harm is still a crime and it is okay to leave your home if you are unsafe to get to a place of safety.
“Incidents of domestic abuse will only continue to rise as stressors such as social isolation and financial pressure take their toll on whanau throughout the country.
“We know people out there are facing threatening and potentially harmful times right now, but please know that we are here for you any time of the day, we are all about keeping your bubble safe, and we can produce another safe bubble for you.”
The refuge is also using this time to gear up for post lockdown.
“We are making plans on how we will continue to support people and what that support will
look like after the end of all this.
“Although we are working differently at the moment, our service hasn’t changed and help is
How to access help:
If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 healthline 0800 358 5453
Stay kind, be considerate