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
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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.
Sexual violence, also known as sexual abuse, sexual assault, or sexual harm, involves any kind of unwanted sexual actions. Sexual violence can be committed by anyone, regardless of their gender. It can happen to anyone, and the person responsible might be a stranger or someone you know.
Sexual violence can include various unwanted sexual behaviors such as:
If you've experienced sexual violence, it's important to know that it's not your fault- it's never ok. No one has the right to harm you, and you deserve to feel safe in your relationships, home, and community.
This crime may have happened to you recently or a long time ago, or even in your youth or childhood. It may have happened just once, or many times. Whatever your situation is, help is available and you don’t have to cope through it alone.
Sexual violence can also be a part of family violence and harm. More information and resources to support you can be found on our Family violence and harm page.
We work with specialist sexual violence support agencies to connect you with the support you need to stay safe. The specialists in these agencies are non-judgemental and professional, and they can organise the most appropriate help for you.
What you say will be kept confidential and you can contact a sexual violence support agency even if you haven’t reported the incident to police.
Our Support services section has a list of helpful agencies that support sexual violence survivors of all genders, the Rainbow community and male survivors.
Reporting what happened to police can keep you or others from experiencing any further harm. It is your choice if you want to report the crime and at any point you can decide that you don’t want the case investigated any further but the police will continue to support your safety.
You don’t have to report a sexual violence incident immediately. You can take some time to decide what you want to do. You can report sexual violence or abuse to police if it happened to you days, weeks, or even years ago via their 105 reporting.
Police understand the sensitivity and difficulty of reporting a sexual crime and will ensure that you receive the necessary respectful and non-judgemental support throughout the process. They have specially trained staff who can provide guidance, connect you with sexual violence support services, arrange a medical examination, and assist with referrals to ACC and other relevant services.
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 these crimes are reported. Police take this 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 this behaviour. 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.
The ACC Sensitive Claims Unit provides free and confidential access to support for people affected by sexual violence, including free counselling. More information on this service can be found on ACC's website or by calling the ACC Sensitive Claims Unit on 0800 735 566.
If you, or a child or young person you care for have experienced sexual abuse in a family violence and harm situation, you can ask your employer for paid domestic violence leave and flexible working arrangements.
You can find more information about your rights, qualifying for this leave and how to apply on the New Zealand Government | Te Kawānatanga o Aotearoa Family violence leave page.
Being sexually harmed is a frightening and traumatic experience. As a survivor of sexual violence, you may grapple with a range of complex emotions including shock, numbness, denial, fear, anxiety, anger, grief, confusion and shame. Feelings of humiliation, guilt and self-blame often emerge, despite it not being your fault.
It is common for your self-image to be affected by a sexual assault. Many survivors report feeling “dirty”. It’s also common to experience a loss of interest in sexual activity and to feel uncomfortable being touched. It may be difficult to know who to trust, and you may want to be alone more. You may also experience physical pain and injuries that need medical attention.
Experiencing or witnessing sexual violence harms children and young people mentally and physically, now and into the future. When children and young people are given warm and caring love, support, and safety, they can begin to heal and recover from the effects of sexual violence.