Did you know your browser is out of date?

To get the best possible experience using our website we recommend that you upgrade to a newer version or other web browser. IE8 is no longer supported. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below. Click on the links to get to the download page.

Violence in the Family

Violence can be physical or emotional, but it always causes harm. When violence happens in the home, it can leave a young person feeling as if there is no safe place for them.

Violence is when someone hurts another person physically or emotionally. This could mean hitting someone, calling them names, threatening, bullying, or trying to control them. Violence is never okay.

When violence happens in the home, it can have a big impact on young people. They might become anxious or depressed, have suicidal thoughts, or have trouble concentrating and controlling emotions. Good, supportive family relationships are important for everyone to feel happy, and to do well. No-one should ever feel unsafe or scared with their family at home.

If a young person is experiencing violence at home, they will need support to know what to do.

Keeping an eye out

Young people who live in violent homes might react in different ways. They may:

  • Keep it a secret because they feel ashamed
  • Feel overwhelmed because they don’t know what to do
  • Become scared or worried what will happen next
  • Have physical injuries such as unexplained bruises or marks
  • Lack confidence or feel bad about themselves and their family
  • Avoid being at home
  • Feel a responsibility to protect others in their family
  • Feel angry or have trouble dealing with anger – they may lash out or be violent toward others
  • Have trouble concentrating and start to find schoolwork more difficult

Healthy conversations

Are you concerned about someone’s safety at home? People experiencing or witnessing violence might be afraid to say anything. Ask them if they are okay, keep being supportive of them, and let them know they can talk to you when they are ready.

If you’re a friend:
 

  • Don’t be afraid to ask. Say what you’ve noticed and that you’re worried about them
  • If they have told you that they’re experiencing violence at home, listen to what they have to say and take them seriously
  • Remind them the violence is not their fault and it doesn’t have to continue
  • Stay calm and remain non-judgemental - don’t rush in with advice, but support them to get the right help
  • Tell them that there is help available and offer to help them find the right support for them and their family

If you’re a family member:
 

Are you concerned about violence in your family? Some family members experiencing or witnessing violence might be afraid to say anything.

  • It can be hard, but it's important to start to talk about family violence honestly.  Say what you’ve noticed and why it’s a problem
  • Listen to what they have to say
  • Remind them that the violence is not their fault and it doesn’t have to continue
  • Let them know you are willing to play a part in helping them find the right help for the whole family

Taking action

If you’re a friend:
 

  • Safety comes first. If a young person is in immediate danger of being harmed, or members of their family are, you can contact the police. The police support families to be safe and find ways for the violence to stop. In an emergency, call 111
  • Encourage them to contact an organisation that can get them and their family the help they need.  Find out which organisations are available and let the young person know
  • Help them work out a safety plan. This could include ways to keep safe, where to go when it is violent, who they can trust and talk to about it and how to contact them
  • Encourage them to always stay in touch with friends and whānau who care about them
  • If you are very worried about a young person’s safety at home, you can anonymously call 0508 32 64 59 and talk about why you think they’re not safe. Doing this could protect the young person and help the family deal with the issue

If you’re a family member:
 

  • Safety comes first. If anyone’s in immediate danger of being harmed contact the police. The police support families to be safe and find ways for the violence to stop. In an emergency, call 111
  • Agree together to contact an organisation that can get you and thee young person’s family the help they need
  • Help the young person make a safety plan. This could include: ways to keep safe, where to go when it is violent, who they can trust and talk to, and emergency contact numbers
  • Stay in touch with each other and with people who care about your family
  • If you are very worried about a young person’s safety at home, you can anonymously call 0508 32 64 59 and talk about why you think they’re not safe. Doing this could protect the young person and help the family deal with the issue

Resources

Are you ok?

Confidential Helpline: 0800 456 450
This website has information about family violence, what it is, where to get help, and how you can help if you know someone affected by it.

Women's Refuge

Confidential Helpline: 0800 733 843

A women’s organisation for women and their children, to help prevent and stop family violence in New Zealand.

Shine

Confidential Helpline: 0508 744 633

Shine is a national domestic abuse charity focused on making homes violence free.

Shakti

Confidential Helpline: 0800 742 584 

Shakti is a Women’s Refuge associate member that provides culturally appropriate domestic violence intervention services to women of Asian, African and Middle Eastern origin

Child Youth and Family

Confidential Helpline: 0508 32 64 59

Child Youth and Family work closely with families to help them find their own solutions so they can deal with their problems, make the changes they need so their children will be safe and well cared for, and achieve their goals for the family.

Family Justice

The Family Justice system is designed to help people resolve family issues, where possible, without going to court. This site has information on domestic violence and how to get help.

Skylight – Parenting after violence in the family

Skylight offers a wide range of services to support those facing times of change, loss, trauma and grief. They have a range of resources on parenting after there has been violence in the family

Youthline

Confidential Helpline: 0800 376 633

Youthline provides free phone, text, and email counselling support. Its website has great information for youth dealing with challenging situations, including how to recognise abuse and get support.

Latest Blog Comments

Latest Facebook Updates

  • "True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from…It means bei... View on Facebook
  • "there’s a tidal wave of Fighters who are reshaping the conversation on porn, and Richie taking the movement for awareness into his own hands. Richi... View on Facebook
  • "Bun Bun La Hop’s shift starts at 9am and ends at 3pm most days. Some might say his job is pretty cruisy, given the eating and lying about, but ther... View on Facebook