Rural Women NZ's letter box sticker competition is helping show our support for violence-free families.
The competition is being run in partnership with the national It’s Not OK Campaign.
People can show they support violence-free families by posting a sticker on their letter box encouraging us all to make our communities safer.
Then enter our competition by sending in a photo of your letter box with the sticker on it, just like the one sent in here by one of member Wendy Knight.
Did you know ...
• In New Zealand 39% of women in rural areas and 33% in urban areas will experience physical or sexual violence from a partner in their lifetime
• Half of all murders and 58% of violent crime in New Zealand is family violence
• Police are called to a family violence incident every six minutes but estimate only 20% of incidents are ever reported.
Family violence can be hard to detect in rural communities where houses are far apart and victims can be more easily isolated from family and friends than in built up areas.
“It can be easy to say ‘It’s not my business’ if we are worried that violence might be happening to someone we know. But family violence is a crime and should be reported,” says national president, Wendy McGowan.
“As members of Rural Women NZ we can take leadership on this issue. We can use our profile in our communities to bring this serious social issue out into the open.”
“Friends and family are usually the first people to see the signs of violence in the home and we encourage people to offer help – safely – if they are concerned.
“We say it’s better to be wrong than sorry, so act on your gut instinct. We don’t recommend intervening in a violent situation, but do recommend asking for help or advice or reaching out at a quiet time.”
Violence is not just physical, it’s psychological, sexual, financial and emotional. Below are some signs that violence is happening in a family relationship.
A victim may be:
• fearful, nervous
• isolated, doesn't want you coming round
• worried about their partner's reaction
A child may be:
• silent and withdrawn
• unusually well behaved
A perpetrator may be:
• controlling their partner and children
• making all the decisions
• jealous and possessive
• controlling finance
The It’s not OK website
has more information for family and friends.
The Rural Women NZ letterbox sticker and awareness campaign will run throughout 2014. Contact national office
if you'd like a supply of stickers for your community.