Prioritise your safety to avoid the possibility of further harm. Choose a safe place to go to and trusted people to be with.
After traumatic events, it's normal to find that you feel more anxious about your safety and others' safety too. Remember, you're not alone - our Support Workers and other community organisations are here to help you to work out the next steps you can take. We want everyone who has experienced a crime or traumatic event to feel safe and supported.
It's important to prioritise your safety. After traumatic events, it's normal to find that you feel more anxious about your safety and others' safety too. Remember, you're not alone - our Support Workers and other community organisations are here to help you to work out the next steps you can take. We want everyone who has experienced a crime or traumatic event to feel safe and supported.
If you or others have been injured, see a doctor, go to a hospital emergency department or call an ambulance on 111 regardless of whether you decide to report the incident or not.
A professional medical assessment can help your recovery and ensure physical safety.
Depending on the incident, consider having the doctor prepare a medical report that can be shared with police, if you are comfortable doing that.
We provide 24/7 free, confidential emotional and practical support and information to anyone affected by crime, suicide and traumatic events, including their whānau and witnesses. We are here for you in your time of crisis to help you feel empowered, make choices and access the services you need to feel safe and in control. We are here for you if you choose to report a crime and even if you don’t.
You can call us or visit our How we can help page to find out more about who we are, how we can help you and how to access our support.
If you have insurance, make an insurance claim as soon as you can. Your insurance company will explain what you need to do next. It may be making a list of missing or damaged items, keeping any damaged items in case they need to be assessed by the insurer or keeping receipts for the expenses resulting from the incident.
It’s common for insurance companies to investigate this kind of claim. You can help them by remembering and noting down as much as you can about any events leading up to or during the incident.
If you don't have insurance, it can take more time to get back on your feet, but support is available to help you cope through what’s happened.
Most people find that unexpectedly witnessing a crime or traumatic incident or discovering the aftermath is disturbing and distressing. Even if you weren’t physically harmed you may still be psychologically affected by what you have seen or heard.
Witnesses often experience a wide range of strong reactions including shock and disbelief, fear, horror, helplessness, anger or grief. You may be overwhelmed or perhaps numb and unable to feel anything at first. You may find you're asking yourself if you could have prevented it, done something different, or helped. You may replay the events in your mind and find it hard to stop distressing thoughts and images. It is common to feel guilty that you witnessed or discovered something so major in someone else’s life and that you were physically unharmed.
It is important to recognise that just because you weren’t directly involved, it doesn’t mean you won’t be affected by what happened. We are here for you if you need support.
For many, a ceremonial blessing of the site where a person has died is an essential part of processing the loss. It acknowledges of the spiritual impact of the tragedy and protects and guides the spirit of the deceased. It respects and honours the dignity of the deceased person, their family, whānau, and community.
For Māori, it can include lifting of the tapu on the site and karakia. Other cultural and faith groups have their own unique blessing ceremonies. Some family or whānau members may choose to visit the scene and be part of a blessing ceremony and others may not. They may prefer to hold a private blessing or open it to whomever would like to come, including from the community.
If you are an immediate family or whānau member wishing to organise a blessing for the site, you could contact your kaumātua, local marae, church or faith centre, the police officer who has been working with you, a Police Iwi Liaison Officer, or speak to a Support Worker.
If you don't personally know the family or whānau but witnessed or discovered the incident, you can speak to a Support Worker if you'd like to attend a blessing, provided it is open to the public and the family or whānau are comfortable with that.
Call the police non-emergency number on 105
Fill in a New Zealand Police 105 report
Find your local police station - Talk to the person at the front counter and they will advise you about what to do. If your nearest station is a small or rural station, call 105 to make sure someone is there to help you. You may want to take a trusted person with you for support.
You may consider speaking to someone you trust for advice like a family or whānau member, close friend, community or cultural leader, or your Victim Support Worker.
You can anonymously report the incident by phone or by submitting an online form to Crime Stoppers.
Manaaki Tāngata | Victim Support
Call us 24/7 on 0800 842 846 to be connected to a Support Worker for assistance.
Support through the criminal justice system
Look in this directory to find a New Zealand lawyer
If you are experiencing family violence and harm, consider making a safety plan. This is a plan of future actions you can take to keep you and your family and whānau members safe if you feel threatened or are in immediate danger. Everyone’s situation is different; Manaaki Tāngata | Victim Support and other local support services can help you to prepare an individual plan that works for you, when the time is right.
Reporting what happened to police as soon as possible can keep you or others from experiencing further harm but you can still report a crime to police regardless of how long ago it happened.
Support is here for you when things get tough. You don't have to face it alone. Reach out to these confidential and non-judgmental services to discuss your situation and get the help you need.
A hate crime is a criminal act like abuse, violence, threats, or intimidation, perceived by the victim to be motivated or influenced by hostility or prejudice against their personal traits, such as race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or age.
A hate incident is an action that may not meet the criteria to be considered a crime but is seen or perceived by the person harmed as being motivated by prejudice against their personal characteristics.
Both hate crimes and incidents harm the victims, their families, whānau, and communities. They can happen to anyone anywhere, including online.
Hate incidents and crimes can take many forms, including:
It is never right or lawful to harmfully target individuals because of their identity. If you've experienced a hate crime, it's important to know that it's not your fault. No one has the right to harm you, and everyone deserves the right to be themselves and feel safe in their communities.
You may be scared to report the crime for fear of not being believed or taken seriously. Sometimes victims feel that they can’t tell anyone about what happened to them, but it helps when hate crimes are reported. Police take hate crime seriously and want victims to be safe and feel safe.
The incidents are not usually a one-off and providing police with information about what happened can help them find the perpetrators and prevent this happening to others. The more information police are given, the more effectively they can tackle hate crime. Remember that when a crime occurs, the offender is responsible, not you.
Whether or not you choose to report, you are entitled to free support from Manaaki Tāngata | Victim Support. We can support you to report a crime but if you choose not to, we are still here for you.
You can report online abuse or threats made against a person based on personal characteristics, such as gender, race, disability, religion by filing a Netsafe hate speech and extremism harmful content report.
If you experience or see hateful content on a social media platform, you should report the harmful content directly to the platform it is on. Netsafe can help you to understand the steps you need to take.
Reach out to groups or services you feel connected with, or that you think will best understand the distress you are feeling after what has happened. It could be a cultural or faith group, a group that relates to your sexual identity or orientation, a service that assists those with health or disability conditions, or that supports senior members of the community.
Your Support Worker can help you to find out where to make these connections.
Te Kāhui Tika Tangata | Human Rights Commission offers a free, informal enquiries and complaints service to deal with unlawful discrimination and racial and sexual harassment issues.
If you think you have faced discrimination due to hate crimes or incidents, or you see offensive online content promoting hate, you can make a complaint to the Commission. They can help with advice and information and, if necessary, mediating your complaint.
You can read more about their service and help on Te Kāhui Tika Tangata website.
Being a victim of hate crime feels deeply personal. Not only do you suffer the effects of the crime itself, but also the emotional impact of knowing that you were targeted for who you are, or who the perpetrator thinks you are. Both you and your community may feel anxious,fearful and isolated as a result.
It's common to experience shame but it’s important to know that no matter what the perpetrator or others may have said or done, it is not your fault. When a crime occurs, the offender is responsible, not you.
Naturally, many victims of hate crime report feeling more vulnerable and unsafe than before. You may be worried that you or others you care about may face such a situation again. This increased anxiety can mean that you lose confidence in doing things you previously enjoyed and felt safe doing.
If a child or young person has been affected by hate incidents or crime, or its consequences, their lives can become challenging. They may lose their sense of identity and safety in their schools or community, and feel increased social isolation.