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 missing person is someone who is reported missing to police because their whereabouts is unknown and there are concerns for their safety and welfare.
The waiting and uncertainty about where your loved one is and if they are ok can be extremely distressing, and while most missing persons are found within a short time, hours or a few days, the prolonged absence of a loved one can make the day to day difficult.
Any ongoing search may attract media attention on the missing person’s case, which can add to the pressure and stress for their family or whānau.
Occasionally the missing person is not found, which can leave their family, whānau and friends left wondering, still hoping for their return, and finding moving forward incredibly challenging. You don’t have to cope alone, support is available for you.
If a person is missing and you have concerns for their safety and welfare, please make a missing person’s report at your nearest police station. This will ensure that the report is forwarded to New Zealand Police without delay.
If a New Zealander is missing overseas and you have concerns for their safety and welfare, please make a missing person’s report at your nearest police station. This will ensure that the report is forwarded to the appropriate international law enforcement agency without delay.
Talk with police about the best search options for your situation. This could include the use of some highly trained specialist search teams. There may be family, whānau, friends, and neighbours willing to assist with a search for someone in a particular area.
If the missing person has not be found, the uncertainty and longing for answers can be overwhelming. The stress and anxiety of waiting and wondering where you loved one is can feel unbearable. Media attention on the missing person's case can add to the pressure and stress for the family.
Financial pressures and practical difficulties can arise when a person has been missing for an extended period. The costs of the search, the loss of their contribution to the family or whānau income, and the expenses associated with handling their legal affairs can be significant.
To cope, those who have been through this difficult situation recommend maintaining hope, reaching out to others for support, prioritising your physical and emotional well-being, and establishing a routine and staying busy, especially if you have children.
Regrettably, there might come a time when, after being missing for at least seven years, and upon careful examination of all relevant evidence, a High Court judge will declare the person legally dead. A coroner does have the power to declare a person dead before this.
When police have exhausted all avenues of their investigation and they believe the person is dead, they can refer the case to the coroner for a ruling. If the coroner believes it is likely the missing person is dead and their body is destroyed, lost, or cannot be recovered an inquest inquiry will be conducted, leading to the issuance of a death certificate and the legal settlement of the person's estate.
Despite the official declaration, families may still be left wondering and even hopeful for their loved one's return. Remember that you are not alone, and support is available to help you cope through this challenging situation.
It is a very uncertain and worrying time when someone goes missing. At first there may be shock and disbelief, and then intense worry, fear and anxiety as you wait for news. Not knowing what has happened can be mentally and emotionally exhausting. You may struggle with feelings of powerlessness and helplessness, oscillating between hope and despair.
It’s not uncommon for loved ones to be continually searching for the missing person, contacting authorities, checking phones and email, and doing whatever they can to find them. You may find yourself searching for the person in crowds and down the street. You may be unwilling to leave the house or your phone in case they return, or you receive news.
Some people feel a sense of rejection if they decide the person doesn’t want to be found. People can feel frustrated and angry at the missing person, guilty that they can’t find them, or look to blame others for their disappearance. Most people also feel deep sadness and grief.
Mentally, you may be preoccupied by imagining where the person might be, whether they are safe, or what could have happened to them. Relationships can be strained as the worry and waiting continues. You may want to be with others more often or withdraw to be on your own more. It can be very hard to make sense of what’s happened, with so many unanswered questions.
When someone they love has gone missing, children and young people will need ongoing attention, care, reassurance, and loving support from those around them. Let them know that everyone is doing their best to look for the missing person but have not found them yet. What they can understand and the questions they’ll ask will depend on their age and stage of development.