Help families get safe and stay safe

Help families get safe and stay safe

While in New Zealand we feel like we have more control over COVID-19 and lockdowns, sadly we are seeing no such changes around domestic violence – in fact we are seeing more demand for our service due to increasing levels of violence in our communities.

The lockdowns we had in Auckland earlier in the year prompted me to think about how it must be for people living with domestic violence and how vital it is to have Shine services available to support victims of abuse.

‘Normal’ life for our clients, even without COVID-19, can be unfathomable to many of us.

We spoke with one of our advocate managers about our clients’ experiences of living with violent partners. She told us that for many who have been subjected to domestic violence - coercive control tactics usually start slowly and covertly… people don’t often see them.

Can you imagine...

  • Being timed every instance you leave the house to drop your children off at school, run an errand, or pick up groceries. You are so stressed as you frantically try to meet unrealistic timeframes…only to be viciously yelled at or grilled about stopping to see someone else, what else you did, and who you spoke to.
  • That every phone call you make is monitored, and every evening your phone, emails, and internet browser are checked. Fake social media profiles are created so you can be followed online, or friends and family are asked to keep an eye on what you’re up to and report everything back to your partner.
  • Time spent at home is having to listen to your partner telling you how useless you are, that no one else will want you; that both of your families think you are crazy; and how your family is so grateful for you being taken such good care of.
  • Being threatened verbally and physically for something you have said, or if you don’t do something quickly enough or correctly.
  • Having to ask for money all the time, no control over your bank accounts, and having to justify every single cent you spend. You’re not given enough money to buy food for the whole family but then face your partner’s ongoing verbal abuse because there isn’t enough food in the house.

Give now to help families get safe, and stay safe

Gaslighting is another regular practice in an abuser’s toolbox. A person can covertly sow seeds of doubt in your mind to make you question your own memory or judgement. Some of what our team heard as examples are things like regularly moving keys; constantly emptying the milk bottles; telling you the time of an event, then on the day swearing black and blue that you were told it was a different time.

Many clients say the mind games are the worst – you start questioning your sanity and judgement. As a result, you don’t sleep well and your wellbeing & health declines. Your time is spent making sure you are doing the best for your children - protecting them by trying not to upset your partner.

It is constantly like walking on eggshells and it is exhausting.

But - because you are so fearful of your partner – you cannot leave. Threats have already been made against your children, your pet, and you if you ever leave. Even then, if you do leave - where would you go? Will anyone believe you? How will you stay safe? Will you be tracked down? How will you support your children? How will you ever get your life back on track and your mind healthy again?

Believe it or not, sometimes it can appear to be safer to stay.

It is so hard to imagine – yet for so many, this is their everyday devastating reality.

But thanks to people like you, many victims of domestic violence see there is support and are able to reach out to us and seek help, protection, and support.

We want to shine a light on domestic violence. In June this year we ran our annual Light it Orange event, in the hopes that we will raise more awareness about the impacts of domestic violence, and generate more crucial funds to continue addressing this problem in New Zealand.

Our service continues to face ongoing pressure as our staff deal with an ever-increasing demand to meet the needs in our community. We cannot do it without people like yourself.

We need to continue meeting demand for our services - but we need help! Please consider making a much-needed gift today to help give vulnerable people a chance for a safer, better life.

>> YES - I want to help today <<

Thank you for standing with us against domestic violence.

Help families get safe and stay safe

“I am blessed and grateful to be here (at Shine's refuge) cause I wouldn‘t know where to go or how I’d even cope stuck in the circle of being hurt and abused. Shine has saved my daughter and me.” a Shine refuge client

Click here to chat with one of our Helpline team