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September 2010
 
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Take ten minutes to ask, ‘Are you OK?’

With phase three of the It’s not OK! family violence campaign underway, police and the community are reminded that ten minutes can make a difference.

The campaign focuses on how to offer help to victims and perpetrators of family violence, whether they are friends, relatives or work colleagues.

As in previous campaigns, police expected a surge of calls about family violence incidents after the television ads started in August.

“This is a chance for police to build on what the campaign is trying to achieve,” says Detective Inspector Ross Grantham, Manager of the Violence Reduction Unit.

“It’s not just about police intervention and holding offenders to account. It’s about helping people to live safely and providing an opportunity to change. We aren’t social workers but we can put people in touch with others who can help.”

That could be kaumatua, a family violence coordinator or partner agency such as Women’s Refuge, Child, Youth and Family or a local non-government organisation.

He says it’s essential police follow the advice of the advertisements and ask people if they are okay.

“Just five or ten minutes can make a difference,” he says. “Although police officers are committed to their other duties, just those few extra minutes can be an impetus to change.”

Think of it as an investment, he says. For every couple that breaks the family violence cycle, ripple effects can benefit their children and other families around them. “A successful couple is likely to look out for others who might be in the same situation,” he says.

The latest It’s not OK! campaign focuses on how to offer help to victims and perpetrators of family violence through characters called Ange and Jeff.
Photo: It’s not ok! campaign
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