As E tū women celebrate Suffrage Day in Aotearoa New Zealand, they also urge communities to remember the fight that’s still going for many women.
Research shows that during emergency situations such as the COVID-19 crisis, gender-based violence gets worse.
According to an online survey by researchers at the University of Otago, around nine percent of New Zealanders said they’d experienced some kind of family harm over the lockdown period last year.
E tū Women’s Committee Convenor Wheeti Haenga says the issue of family violence comes up often in committee meetings.
“We are hearing stories about women who have been affected by domestic violence, and there’s a real concern that during COVID, because we know this tends to get a lot worse.
“Every woman and child in Aotearoa should live in homes that are free from violence.”
Wheeti says the committee wants all women to know there is help out there, including places such as Women’s Refuge.
“There’s practical and genuine support – they’ll get you to a secure house, make sure you have fresh food, PJs for the kids, and petrol vouchers.”
Family Violence Leave is also available for up to 10 days, she says.
Wheeti says that despite the many issues that remain for women, she wants to recognise their mahi and strength during the COVID crisis.
“A shout out to our wonderful wāhine everywhere in Aotearoa New Zealand, including our Māori and Pasefika women – they’ve all done a brilliant job.
“Suffrage Day is about remembering all our wāhine and their individual struggle to secure their rights as a collective.”
Where to get help
- Women’s Refuge: Call 0800 733 843, 24 hours
- Family violence information: Call 0800 456 450
- Shine National helpline: Call 0508 744 633, 9am to 11pm
- Shakti – for migrant and refugee women: Call 0800 742 584, 24 hours
- National Network of Stopping Violence: Call 03 391 0048
- Elder Abuse Helpline: Call 0800 32 668 65, 24 hours
- Gandhi Nivas, supporting men to be free from violence: Call 0800 426 344
- Hey Bro helpline, supporting men to be free from violence: Call 0800 HeyBro (0800 439 276)
- Hohou te rongo kahukura – outing violence: building rainbow communities free from violence
- You, me, us: promoting healthy queer, trans and takatāpui relationships
- Sensitive Claims ACC: Call 0800 735 566
- The Shielded Site Project
- Lifeline: Call 0800 543 354, Free text to 1737
- Online: you can click on the Shielded Site icon, which leaves no digital footprint and is confidential. You can find it on big New Zealand websites, like The Warehouse, Coundown, NZ Post, IRD, and MSD.
Concerned about a child?
- If you believe a child is in immediate danger, call the Police on 111.
- For non-urgent cases where you suspect a child may be in an unsafe environment, call Oranga Tamariki on 0508 326 459 or email [email protected]
- Child Matters: Full consultation service free of charge. Contact Child Matters National Services Manager Megan West on 022 547 7505 for more.