06 Oct 2020
In response to the worst violence seen in decades, Shine, Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest specialist domestic violence agency, is releasing a video to help people understand how hard it is for victims to leave an abusive partner, and what they can do to support someone to leave safely.
Shine staff already working nights and weekends are struggling to keep up with an increase in calls for help, especially during the weekends. Urgent donations are needed to fund additional Shine Advocates—trained experts who support women and children experiencing family violence to get safe and stay safe.
To help people understand the challenges of leaving a violent partner safely, Shine has worked with Chillbox Creative to produce a video which can be seen online at Shine‘s website and social channels. Everyone involved in making the video - from the actor to the crew members, gave their time and expertise at pro-bono or reduced rates.
Shine General Manager Sally Ward says leaving a violent partner can be one of the most dangerous times for victims, but that it can be done safely with help from specialist domestic violence services.
“It’s important that women know there are specialist services who can help, as it is not easy to know who to ask or where to find the right help. We know women are proactive help seekers, but studies show they have sometimes experienced unsafe responses from agencies which makes it harder to trust another service to get it right this time,” says Sally.
In the last 22 years, Shine Advocates have helped tens of thousands of women experiencing abuse.
“Our advocates are there to address the risks abusive partners pose to victims and their children, and to help make their lives safer—whether they are staying or leaving. Advocates work with the victims to understand who and what matters to them whilst supporting their access to essential dignity, safety and wellbeing needs. These may include a phone, food, clothes, safe housing, protection orders and connecting them to services such as Work and Income.”
Shine advocate team manager Debbs Murray says people don’t realise there are “invisible walls” of entrapment for people who find themselves with a violent or manipulative partner.
“To an outsider, leaving is the answer, but leaving is the most vulnerable time,” says Debbs. “Staying can feel safer; you’ve got eyes on him and you know what’s going on. Leaving, you don’t know where he is or what’s going on”.
Shine has seen a significant increase in calls for help since April. Shine’s refuges have been full and women and children are being put up in temporary motel accommodation instead.
Chillbox Creative Creative Director Gabriel Lunte says that working with Shine, his team has learned that escape from a domestic abuse situation is rarely as simple as just running away.
“With this campaign, we wanted to impress the reality that even the strongest, most resilient of survivors are not always in a position to escape safely without help. It was our hope that this campaign would inspire New Zealanders to empathise with victims, and support Shine in their efforts to help survivors get safe and stay safe.”
If you know or think someone is experiencing domestic violence, you can call Shine’s helpline 0508 744 633 for advice on the best and safest way to help them.
Video created by Chillbox Creative with actor Kiri Naik
If you think you or someone else is experiencing domestic violence, you can call Shine’s helpline 0508 744 633 for advice on the best and safest way to get help.
Shine’s domestic violence helpline 0508 744 633 free & confidential, nationwide in New Zealand. Open daily 9am-11pm.
Find out more about how Shine Advocates can help here.
Give us a call, send us a message or call in and see us. We’d love to hear from you.