Event to raise awareness of family harm

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Having a cuppa... raising awareness on the issue of family harm are (from left) Thomas Green manager Roz Taylor, Senior Sargent Cynthia Fairley, Gore and Clutha Women's Refuge manager Sam Munroe, and refuge staff Tiffany O’Driscoll and Talia McConnell. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

With instances of family harm expected to rise, efforts are being made the prevent the problem of family violence before it escalates.

The White Ribbon event people the chance to connect with those in a position to help.

Gore police and staff from Gore and Clutha Women’s Refuge will attend the event at the Thomas Green on Tuesday from 10am.

Gore and Clutha Women’s Refuge manager Sam Munroe said her key message was that refuge staff were there to give support and advice.

” [Someone] might just need some support,” Ms Munroe said.

People were concerned that if they reached out for help their family would be separated against their will, which was not the case.

“If you get in with prevention [family harm] doesn’t get as serious as it could.”

It was important that people knew who they could approach for help, including on behalf of someone else.

Senior Sergeant Cynthia Fairley, of Gore, said the holiday season tended to mean a rise in family harm incidents.

“There’s more alcohol [and] family stress,” Snr Sgt Fairley said.

In addition to this, Covid-19 and its associated economic struggles could also cause problems.

“We’re coming into difficult times. There are different stresses in the home.”

Statistics on family harm were and only 30% of it was reported, she said.

“Some women and families are quite isolated.”

However, there were a lot of agencies people could turn to for support, she said.

Cuppa with a Coppa was a chance to find out more about this.

“It’s all about coffee and mingling.”

Information would also be given through leaflets and talks.

Staff from the police and the women’s refuge would also give presentations about family violence and others would also speak on the issue.

One of the speakers would be Gore’s Grace Turipa, a winner of last year’s Manu Korero speech competition.

She would talk about the importance of empowering women and breaking cycles of violence.