#HowCanIHelp is a social media movement to ignite family violence awareness - in order to help you to help your friends and whānau who may be experiencing family violence


If you are worried about someone – maybe this page will help you to better understand and assist you to link in with support agencies via the links provided. 



Family Violence can be any form of violence inflicted against a person that harms and with whom that person has been in a family relationship with. 


Intimate Partner Violence – when the primary victim and predominant aggressor are or have been in a relationship – married, de facto, separated, ex partners, partners not living together.


Interfamilial Violence – when the primary victim and predominant aggressor are family but not intimate partners – aunty, uncle, child, parent, brother, sister, grandparent, step parent etc



Physical assaults, assaults with weapons, strangulation, pushing, shoving, punching, kicking, spitting, dragging, pushing, pulling, sexual violence, rape, violation, non-consensual sexual connection of any type


Threats of violence, intimidation, harassment, property damage, harming pets, financial abuse, deprivation, exploitation, stalking, degradation, intimidation, isolation from friends and family, Gaslighting (making someone feel like they are mentally unwell), technological violence, tracking, forced marriage, shaming, humiliating, name calling, mocking, belittling etc


Allowing children to see, hear or be the victim of family violence


ECLIPSE, as a specialist family violence training provider, is doing all we can to shine light onto and into the realities of family violence and coercive control by training responders and practitioners in the family violence sector - we strive to support increased workforce capability, increased empathy and compassion.  


We need your help to create a collective movement of Community Awareness so let’s start with #HowCanIHelp

One of the darkest aspects of family violence is that it is so hidden.  The loneliness of isolation and entrapment, the enforced dependence upon a predominant aggressor, the loss of identity and freedom.  And then the fear of not being believed.


Our victims of family violence, resist violence every day, and in so many ways and yet this is often unseen and silent - and so we need to create a voice.


ECLIPSE believes that family violence is constructed of multiple forms of coercive control – it is when a predominant aggressor uses control tactics to strip away the identity and freedom of the primary victim and that are no longer able to exist freely in their own world.


Some of the indicators - but there are many more ... 

  • Unable to make their own choices?

  • Called names or put down?

  • Monitored/Stalked ie: phone, whereabouts?

  • Intimidated through anger

  • Made to feel inferior?

  • Make to feel insecure?

  • Devalued?

  • Always told what to do because the predominant aggressor knows better?

  • Cannot openly speak without fear?

  • Walks on eggshells?

  • Cannot give an opinion?

  • Never allowed the last word?

  • No ability to compromise?

  • Punished by the silent treatment and/or removal of affection and/or    connectionn


POLICE – Crime 24/7

ORANGA TAMARIKI – Child Abuse 24/7


Call 0508 326 459 – if you are worried about a child (pepi or tamariki) or young person (rangatahi)


Call Police on 111

WOMEN’S REFUGE – Support 24/7

If in need of safe accommodation or support  


Pet Refuge - Animal Safety in Family Violence

Call 0800 738 733 843 or Email




What if I hear something that worries/scares me?

If it sounds like someone is at risk – and you are not sure, call the Police and allow them to make the decision 

  • Someone is being hurt, yelling for help, crying, or it sounds like someone is being hurt - Call the Police on 111 if you can do so safely

  • There is an argument, and someone is threatening to hurt someone – Call the Police on 111 if you can do so safely

  • There is an argument, and you can hear things being smashed – Call the Police on 111, if you can do so safely

  • There is a heated argument that sounds concerning – Call the Police on 111, if you can do so safely


  • Call the Police on 105 if something has happened and there is no immediate risk of harm to anyone, and no one has been hurt. 


What if I am scared for my own safety/retaliation and am worried about reporting the incident?

  • Your safety is the priority 

  • Do not do anything that will place you in harm’s way

  • Ask the 111 caller at Police to keep your name confidential

  • You do not have to disclose your name, but it would be helpful for the call taker 


We need to be the voice of our victims but never at the risk of our own safety

What if I cannot safely call Police?

Document/Record relevant information in case it may be needed or for you to take to Police

  • Address of episode

  • Time of episode

  • Any names you may hear "Get off me Bob"

  • Sounds - threats, smashing, screaming, crying

  • Children present - crying, yelling

  • Brief timeline of main events

What do I say if someone tells me they are a victim of family violence?

  • Believe them –- you may be shocked, but they will need to know you believe them. 

  • Tell them no matter what you are there for them

  • Empathy – tell them you may not understand exactly how they feel, but you will do all you can to support them anyway

What do I do if someone tells me they are a victim of family violence, but not to tell anyone they have told you.

If there is risk of physical harm:

  • Tell them that you will always be there, but if you feel that there is risk that they might be harmed, that you will have to call someone to let them know


  • Work together to decide what would need to happen for you to report– make the rules together and your friend or whānau member will feel involved in the decision making. 

If there is no risk of physical harm:

  • If there is no risk of anyone being physically harmed at that moment, keep a record with your friend or whānau member of what is talked about 

  • Encourage your friend or whānau member to keep a diary at your house of all that is happening if she is not ready to report – this will really help her if she decides to report or apply for a protection order in the future


Use some of the links below to contact support services and networks that will be able to offer support and advise. 

You don’t have to carry this alone


Help can present itself in many ways – from a cup of tea and a hug, to holding someone’s hand in a Police interview or in a hospital bed. 

SAFETY PLAN – Pre-planning 

  • Safe place - locate a room in the house with a lock on it

  • Escape – identify accessible and safe windows or doors that can be used to leave the property

  • Planned exit – discuss a time that is safe to leave, this could be during a normal daily activity that will not draw attention, such as dropping the children at school or kohanga, shopping, a Drs appointment.  

  • Preparation - Encourage your friend/ whānau member to have a spare car key for emergencies and have the following packed and ready:

  • Identification

  • Birth Certificates / Passports etc

  • Bank cards

  • Phone charger

  • Dignity enhancing products

  • Change of clothes for self and kiddies

Maybe keep a packed bag at your house with critical items that might be needed

  • Communication - Keep phone charged, have a second one if safe to do so in case one gets broken or lost. 

  • Meeting Place - Discuss a safe place to meet if she tells you she is leaving and needs you to meet her

  • Travelling - If your friend or whānau member is calling you from a car and being followed – suggest driving to a Police station to meet her - you don't have to go in but it is a safer place

  • Research – have a look at places that can offer support to you friend.  Some agencies offer residential and community-based support services.  Give them a call and discuss options (you can do this without disclosing names)


SAFETY PLAN - Emergency

Agree upon an emoji and /or safe word that your friend or whānau member can send you to signal they need you to call Police - 111

Have all the details Police might need written down somewhere for when you call 111:

  • Full name of friend or whānau member   

  • Date of Birth (DOB)

  • Name of person posing risk if possible and DOB

  • Address of normal residence

  • Location of where the call is coming from (this may be different from the normal address and is important for 111 to know)              

  • Children in the home?

  • Registration of vehicles


Tell Police that this call is a part of a safety plan for a friend who is at risk of family violence, and this call means they need help. 

Provide all the information that you can, if you don’t know the answer – say you don’t know 

Stay calm and just breathe – 111 is there to help and you have just been the voice of someone who in that moment doesn’t have one.

Family Violence Its Not OK - https://www.areyouok.org.nz/  - Practical Steps to Safety, Family Violence Indicators quiz as well as resources and information.  This is for all whānau members experiencing violence.  Free call 0800 456 450


Safe to Talk sexual abuse and sexual harm support - http://www.safetotalk.nz/ or email support@safetotalk.nz or free call 0800 044 334

Stopping Violence Services - https://www.svschch.org.nz/ free call 0800 478 778


Pet Safety – Pet Refuge - https://www.petrefuge.org.nz/ free call 0800 738 733 843 or email help@petrefuge.org.nz 

Rainbow CommunityOutLineNZ free phone 0800 688 5463 (not specialist family violence service, but can provide support)

Elder Abusehttps://www.ageconcern.org.nz/Public/Home/Public/Default.aspx?hkey=edf88d22-7854-45a1-b3c8-c4a3c6f52c1d free call - 0800 326 6865  (not specialist family violence service, but can provide support)


Counsellors - https://1737.org.nz/ phone counsellors available – text 1737


Whats up - https://whatsup.co.nz/ a safe place of children and young people to talk - call free call 0800 942 878 Monday – Sunday 11am-11pm  (not specialist family violence service, but can provide support)


Youthline - https://www.youthline.co.nz/ a safe place for youth to connect with support – webchat, Free call 0800 376 633 or Free text 234  (not specialist family violence service, but can provide support)

Government - Links to Family Violence support networks, agencies, legislation and orders - https://www.govt.nz/browse/law-crime-and-justice/abuse-harassment-domestic-violence/domestic-and-family-violence/

Want to know more about stories of experiencing family violence – see the Breaking Silence documentaries




Additional Family violence information is available at https://www.eclipsefamilyviolenceservices.co.nz/resources


Snr Sgt NZ Police - FV Team

"This training exceeded my expectations ... Debbs is a great presenter and her story increases knowledge, understanding of family harm and includes a victims perspective ... A fantastic mix and extremely powerful for attendees"


Social Work Placement Student

"Debbs has an incredible gift and all practitioners need to eperience this training, it was so eye opening and empowering"

"Debbs lived and professional knowledge was just a wealth of information and I feel really blessed to have been able to be a part of the training"

Family Violence Social Worker 

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