Janeta and Fiona know first-hand the impact family harm has in our society. Their work as Victim Support Workers is not easy, but they are both dedicated to helping people live safer, happier lives.
What have you learned about the complexities regarding family violence?
It’s not always straight-forward with family violence. Sometimes there are different layers. It’s easy for someone to say ‘get out’, but sometimes you need a whole lot of people to support someone to make the change. It won’t always happen the first, second, third or fourth time. We’re focusing more on social issues connected to family violence. We work together collaboratively to fill those gaps.
Tell us about some of the emotional and practical support?
The process depends on the incident. Each case is different. It could be a few phone calls or it might need to be face-to-face visits. We could visit them at the Police station or their home. Listening is important - normal forms of communication backed up with providing that emotional and practical support. Discussing protection orders, child orders and going through that process with them. At times, recommending lawyers, support with victim impact statements, attending court and sentencing. Other times it could be referrals onto other agencies for counselling. Parenting courses, it can be a number of different things.
Do you find your job rewarding?
Yes, very rewarding. There have been really good feel-good stories on people feeling empowered. Just the resilience and getting back into living. It’s always good to have those positive stories and positive feedback. It reiterates the work that you’re doing, you are doing some good. You need to have that every now and then. I’m most proud of the team’s passion for the work they do.
"I try and be that little bit of difference in their lives, that encourages them and helps them see that there is a little bit of sunshine somewhere."
What’s the main purpose of your role?
Being a Whānau Support Worker means that I try and support families as best as possible to equip them with the skills so that they can make changes in their lives. To live safer, happier lives, to live a life without fear, without intimidation, and to create a family unit that works together in the same direction is my ultimate aim every time, with each family.
What is the impact of this support?
Empowering them with the skills so they can make the decisions and choices themselves. And when it works it works really well. I try and be that little bit of difference in their lives, that encourages them and helps them see that there is a little bit of sunshine somewhere. Sometimes that’s what people need, that somebody believes in them and encourages them and sometimes it’s not actually doing anything ground-breaking, it can be just encouraging them.
Can you give an example of some the support you offer?
Every client is different. We can have clients in quite dangerous situations. Sometimes they’ll come into the police station and we meet to discuss safety planning. We talk through the options they have, which can include, protection orders, a safety plan for at home if an ex partner turned up, some engagement for support for children, if children are involved. At times, it can include new locks on inside their doors for a safe room. We slowly go through everything. Just explaining every part of what they need to do to keep themselves safe.
Nau mai, haere mai to the newest member of Manaaki Tāngata | Victim Support’s National Board, Darren Rewi.
Mary Curnow, Victim Support's new Head of Volunteering, is passionate about its positive impact on communities and individuals.
Dee, a Victim Support worker, shares how her personal experience with trauma drew her to support others.
Shelley Brunskill-Matson, National Manager of Suicide Bereavement Service at Victim Support, stresses self-care especially in stressful times.
Meet Gaylene, a dedicated Family Harm Support Worker at Victim Support who promotes positive change through building strong relationships.
Victim Support's Contact Service gears up for its busiest period, handling 100,000 calls a year, providing support to thousands of victims.
By learning Te Reo Māori, Contact Service team member Charlotte hopes to better support those in need and bring cultural awareness to her work.
Jacqui is on a mission to become a fluent speaker of New Zealand Sign Language to provide the best support to victims of crime and trauma.
The partnership between Victim Support and Police is crucial in ensuring victims of crime receive the support they need.
Long-term support and relationship building – that’s the focus of Victim Support’s new Whānau Resilience programme underway in Counties Manukau.
One of the things Victim Support is most proud of is the dedication and support provided by our long-serving Support Workers.
Kevin Joblin, founder of Victim Support in New Zealand, talks about his vision to recognize and support victims of crime and trauma.
A Victim Support team works with Whakaari White Island survivors, families of those who have lost loved ones, and others impacted by the disaster.
In the aftermath of a devastating flood in Tokomaru Bay, Victim Support stepped in to provide much-needed assistance to affected residents.
Behind our dedicated frontline teams there are many people in critical supporting roles that enable us to sustain our free service 24/7.
Victim Support advocates for victims of crime and trauma, ensuring their needs are heard, rights protected, and services accessed.
As the stresses of Covid become apparent, there has also been a rise in the incidence of family violence, a ‘secondary epidemic’ in kiwi families.
Victim Support collaborates with Woven Earth to help family violence survivors rebuild their lives, providing essentials and support for a fresh start.
Victim Support's Contact Service operates 24/7, handling over 130,000 calls annually, providing crucial support to those impacted by crime and trauma
Deborah Du Toit is a Victim Support Worker who has been there for Kiwis through thick and thin.
Alanna Howard and Charlie Saunders, Service Coordinators in Victim Supports' Counties Manukau office are proud of the response to support victims.