For the last few days, you have been living on the streets. It’s cold and uncomfortable; all you have is the clothes you were wearing when you fled your abuser. It’s level 4 lockdown – you have no money and nowhere to go… at least you are safer than being trapped at home with your violent partner, fearing for your life. But you worry he might find you. Someone comes by and asks why you are out alone, cold and on the streets during a strict lockdown…
They make a phone call to Shine.
Being at home during the day all the time lately, you’ve been hearing a lot of violent arguments and fighting next door. It’s been getting worse since the start of lockdown. You wonder: Are the children safe? Is she okay? You want to be neighbourly and go over to check on them, but it’s level 4 lockdown, so you can’t. You lie awake at night worrying about it.
You make a phone call to Shine.
It can be hard to believe that awful things like this are happening to fellow Kiwis in our communities – but the tragedy is – this is happening every day right now. These are real-life stories of people who are or have been trapped in domestic abuse, in desperate need of help, where concerned family or members of the public have made a call to our Shine helpline.
Right now our dedicated Shine staff are working tirelessly to help find emergency accommodation, assist in sourcing essentials like food, clothing, medication, nappies, formula, and phones (so they can keep in contact with Shine advocates). We are also supporting them to gain access to WINZ and MSD for financial support, as well as legal advice and counselling, which is of course a great deal more difficult when nothing is face to face.
Family violence is an invisible crisis, and with a lockdown – it becomes even more invisible. Behind closed doors, COVID-19 has intensified domestic abuse, and we are seeing a rise in calls to our helpline, coupled with an increase in demand for our services.
This is set to get worse the longer we spend in lockdown.
Stress and social isolation can trigger domestic abuse, and of course right now – stress, anxiety, and uncertainty is at an all-time high as many people face loss of income, confinement with prolonged close contact, and no sense of normality. This subsequent rise in abuse has created its own “shadow pandemic”.
Many victims are leaving their homes traumatised, with nothing but the clothes on their back.
Shine is an essential service and we need your help to make sure we can continue to support some of our most vulnerable families during lockdown.
Please help us be there for those who have fled their violent bubbles.
Your support will offer hope to victims of abuse at a time when they desperately need it.
If you are in a position to help victims of domestic violence in getting safe, staying safe, and beginning to heal during this lockdown – please donate today. Every dollar makes a difference!