28 Feb 2019
For Presbyterian Support Northern
From March 3-9, Shine is asking New Zealanders to show they care by taking part in Light it Orange, the fundraiser to help victims of domestic violence who are at the highest risk of being killed or seriously injured.
Orange is the UN international colour of support for victims of domestic violence.
This year, donations to Light it Orange will help fund specialist Shine Advocates who are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide urgent support to adult and child victims of domestic violence, including by strangulation.
NZ Police Harm Reduction Manager Inspector Fleur de Bes says that Family Violence in New Zealand is a significant issue for all New Zealanders, with Police attending one family violence episode every 4 minutes (based on 2018 figures). “This means that it is likely that someone you know will be affected,” she said.
“The seriousness of this crime has most recently been highlighted by the significant volume of strangulation offences that have been identified by Police since the new strangulation offence was introduced on the 3rd December 2018.
Police have filed an average of 33 strangulation charges before the Court each week. This is a shocking statistic.”
Following urgent referrals from police and hospitals, Shine Advocates meet with clients in their own homes, at the hospital, local police stations, or other safe venues to help victims understand their level of risk. Advocates then create a safety plan, which may include applying for a protection order, going into a refuge, or whatever will work best in that person’s circumstances to keep him or her safe.
Jane Drumm, Shine’s General Manager, says that funds raised through Light It Orange help ensure we can reach more families and provide more advocacy services to save lives and keep children safe. “Extra funding would allow us to employ more Advocates, train more volunteers and upgrade our refuges.”
Light it Orange runs for one week, during which individuals and organisations wear orange, decorate offices in orange, and participate in activities such as Auckland’s Round the Bays fun run to raise funds.
Donations can be made direct to Shine online or through individuals, schools or workplaces fundraising for Light it Orange.
“Light it Orange is a way for Kiwis come together to raise funds and call for a cultural shift in New Zealand,” says Jane. “Please donate to Light it Orange to help victims – adults and children - get safe and stay safe.”
“Research from the San Diego Strangulation Research Institute clearly shows how quickly people can die from strangulation or any restriction of airways and the long-term negative health impacts of this occurring. Police take this offence very seriously given the very real risk of further violence and potentially death,” said Inspector Fleur de Bes. “If you know of anyone who is experiencing family violence, reach out for help and support those who may be unable to reach out for help themselves.”
Shine also runs a dedicated 365-day Helpline, two Auckland refuges, and a service for children exposed to family violence called KIDshine.
New Zealanders can visit Light It Orange to sign up and create a fundraising page for their workplace, school, or as an individual.
Shine has advice on its website for what to do if you know or suspect someone is experiencing domestic violence – whether that person is an adult or a child.
Give us a call, send us a message or call in and see us. We’d love to hear from you.