Family and relationship violence is too common in Aotearoa, and we all have a responsibility to ending it. Through your support of friends, neighbours and colleagues, people and families can make changes and end the cycle of violence.

Violence exists in silence, and people who are in violent relationships are often reluctant to speak out or ask for help.


You have a huge role to play in helping their family be free from violence.


The sooner you reach out to someone who is being violent the sooner they can get help to change and the sooner you reach out to someone living with family violence the sooner they can get help.

Here are some things you can do to break the cycle of family violence:

  • If you think someone is in danger, you need to call the Police on 111. It is much better to have called the police and be wrong, than do nothing and someone is hurt or killed.

  • If you are worried about the relationship of a friend, colleague or neighbour – don’t ignore it, listen to your intuition. If you feel that things are not right, here are some things you could say:

    “Are you ok?”

    “I’m worried about how your partner checks up on you all the time.”

    “It’s not OK to talk to your partner or kids like that.”

    “If you ever need to talk about anything, I’m here for you.”

  • It takes a lot of courage for someone who is in a violent relationship to talk about it. Take them seriously, tell them it’s not their fault, and help is available. Offer to go with them to get help.

  • If someone you know is abusive or talks about wanting to hurt or control their partner or children, it is important to challenge the behaviour not the person. Tell them it is OK to ask for help. Many people who have been violent can and do change with the support of others.

  • Get to know your neighbours and colleagues. Perhaps invite them over for a cup of tea or go for a walk. Many people suffering from family violence feel lonely and don’t know who to talk to. 

For more information on how you can help can be found on the It’s not OK website.

Children rely on adults to keep them safe

If you are concerned about the safety of children, then you need to act. A child is killed almost every month in NZ by someone who should have been looking after them, and child neglect is too common.

Call the Police on 111 or 0508 FAMILY (0508 326 459)

Don’t be afraid to offend an adult to protect a child. Many people are unwilling to act through fear of being wrong, but the law protects you if you have acted in good faith. Whenever there a child is killed or seriously hurt, there is always an adult who says “I was worried about that child, but didn’t know what to do.”

If you know of a family that is struggling in your neighbourhood or community then get to know them and offer to help. “It takes a community to raise to a child”

More information on how you can help keep children safe can be found on the Child Matters website