08 Mar 2018
By Wright Communications
In New Zealand, 90,000 children are exposed to family violence each year - that's more than one in twelve children.
Shockingly, a child is killed by a family member every five-and-a-half weeks.
Every four-and-a-half minutes, the police attend a family violence incident.
Light it Orange is a week of fundraising and awareness activities that runs from Saturday 3rd to Friday 9th of March, 2018.
Funds raised will also support Shine's free domestic abuse Helpline that operates 365 days a year.
Anyone can sign up via www.lightitorange.co.nz to join hundreds of schools, workplaces, clubs, businesses, and individuals raising funds for Shine.
Shine's services have already helped thousands of traumatised children feel safer, happier and more confident about what to do if there is further violence at home.
Shine's marketing and communications manager, Holly Carrington, says that people who think they don't know anyone who's experienced family violence need to understand that they probably do.
"Family violence is an epidemic. With one in three women experiencing it in their lifetime and so many children being affected, it's likely that someone you know has been hurt, scared or abused by a partner or family member," says Ms. Carrington.
"Shine helps victims get safe and stay safe. Our services help children know how to deal with these difficult situations by helping them create an age-appropriate safety plan for the next dangerous or violence episode, and we help them to understand that the violence is not their fault."
There are a range of ways to get involved in Light it Orange, from planning a small activity to fit in with a busy lifestyle, or making an online donation. This could range from hosting a torch-led walk in your neighbourhood to taking part in a yoga class-the more creative the better! Supporters can also join Shine's team at the Auckland Round the Bays fun run on Sunday 4th of March.
Stand-out fundraising activities from previous years include a Shine supporter who baked and sold more than 500 orange cupcakes; a workplace team that raffled off an extra days holiday donated by the boss; and, a business that donated a share of profits from the week of Light It Orange.
"Raffling the boss's carpark for a day is another popular option in corporate settings," says Ms. Carrington. "People also love to dress up in orange, eat orange food and decorate their home, school or office.
"The most important thing is to realise this is everyone's issue. The more we look out for each other and our children, the more we talk to each other and offer support, the less power abusers have and the stronger our communities become."
In New Zealand today, family violence reports are at an all-time high. Police investigated 118,910 incidents in 2016, an increase of more than 8,000 on the year before.
One in three women in New Zealand will experience abuse in her lifetime, and the majority of those women will have children (NZ Violence Against Women study).
Shine has advice on its website (www.2shine.org.nz/helping-someone) for what to do if you know or suspect someone is experiencing domestic violence - whether that person is an adult or a child.
Funds raised through Light It Orange in Auckland will support Shine's work with children who are traumatised by family violence. Outside Auckland, donations will fund Shine's free domestic abuse Helpline. The Helpline is available to adults and children experiencing abuse, or to anyone who suspects a friend, family member, colleague or neighbour needs Shine's support.
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