YOU OKAY: Men are urged to reach out and seek help if they feel like the might hurt a loved one

MEN who feel like they “might hurt their loved ones and whanau” during self isolation are being urged to pick up the phone and dial 0800 Hey Bro.

Every household in the Eastern Bay is now in lockdown, only leaving home for essential items, including, essential groceries and prescription medicine. However, for some women and children home isn’t a safe place, leaving them with no other option but to remain where they are.

Research from overseas shows that in the wake of Covid-19, family violence can get worse. Mandatory isolation puts strain on most relationships and on parenting, and this is especially risky for people living with violence.

Women’s Refuge fundraising and communications manager Susan Barker said she had just one message for men who were abusing, “reach out for help”.

Isolating and social distancing can have unintended consequences for women who are living with the people abusing them.

Some people using violence may use Covid-19 to further isolate their partners, Mrs Barker said.

“The impacts of the pandemic on families and communities do not cause violence, but it can mean abusers have more opportunities to perpetrate and conceal violence.

“We have already seen spikes in other countries of 30 to 60 percent during lock down periods. Isolation from wider family, friends, and colleagues is a well-known method abusers use to exercise control over victims,” she said. “Increased isolation is essentially an ideal scenario for an abuser. Victims are unable to seek respite from their partners by getting out of the house and doing everyday things.

“When victims are already isolated from others and are confined to the house, there are many more opportunities for their partners to use physical, sexual, or psychological violence against them.”

Mrs Barker said the refuge staff had spent this time ensuring they had everything they needed to be operational during the lock down and could still be there safely for women and children in crisis.

“There are many ways that women can reach out to us,” she said.  “Women can ring our crisis line, send a Facebook message through Women’s Refuge page or email us.

“Women can also send a confidential message that is through our shielded site feature found on, The Warehouse, NZ Post and many other major websites, However, if you do feel you are in immediate danger, do not hesitate to ring 111.

“Women can be referred to our services through the police,” she said.

Where to get help

Crisis line on 0800REFUGE

Email Women’s Refuge on info@refuge.org.nz

Police 111

delilah.whaitiri@thebeacon.co.nz