Te Hiku whānau who are experiencing family violence in their bubble during the Covid-19 lockdown period can still reach out for immediate help online with their safety and confidentiality safeguarded.
When phoning 111 isn't an option for women and people who identify as women requiring help in times of family violence crises, Whiria Te Muka is urging them to access help online via the Shielded Site icon.
The Shielded Site icon is on major sites across Aotearoa-New Zealand, normally located at the bottom of the web page.
A place of refuge, the icon allows kaimamae, or people who suffer family violence, to request support without leaving a digital footprint.
Designed by NZ Women's Refuge, the icon is a tool for women and people who identify as women who are experiencing whānau harm to reach out for help, without fear of it showing up in their browser history or an abusive partner seeing it. It is a simple icon that can sit on any website and launch a powerful resource to help reduce and prevent family violence.
When users click the icon they are taken to a shielded portal through which they will be put in contact with Women's Refuge. There they can find out how to make a plan to get out of a dangerous situation, learn how to stay safe online and get answers to questions about what comes after they have reached out for help.
Websites that currently support the Shielded Site icon include Te Hiku Iwi Development Trust, Women's Refuge New Zealand, The Warehouse, Countdown Supermarkets, NZ Post, Inland Revenue NZ and the Ministry of Social Development NZ.
More information is located at https://shielded.co.nz.
Whiria Te Muka is a partnership initiative between the NZ Police and Te Hiku Iwi that aims to reduce and prevent family violence in Te Hiku while striving for mana tangata.
In the meantime, Te Hiku whānau experiencing family violence can still access support via the following numbers:
· If it is an emergency and the situation requires immediate assistance, phone 111.
· NZ WOMEN'S REFUGE (0800 733 843): Provides information, support and advice for women experiencing family violence, as well as help in a crisis.
· HEY BRO (0800 439 276) - 24-hour, seven-day support line for men who feel they're going to harm a whānau member or loved one.
· SHINE (0508 744 633) - Offers helpline, advocacy, refuges, Kidshine and safety programmes.
· LIFELINE (0800 543 354) - 24-hour, seven-day confidential support by qualified counsellors and trained volunteers.
· YOUTHLINE (0800 376 633) - Provides mental health-related counselling, mentoring and advice for young people