Lessons we can learn from

Lessons we can learn from

If someone had told me six months ago, that the world was about to be turned upside down to an
unprecedented state of panic and uncertainty, I would have thought you were having me on. But
here we are in May 2020 moving through Covid-19 emergency levels, trying to get back to some sort
of normality, which almost seems like it will never actually be the same again.
Before the lockdown, it was predicted that family violence reports to Police would spike to record
levels. For Taranaki, this was true for weeks 1-2 of the lockdown with more callouts than usual. It
then plateaued for weeks 3-4 and spiked again through weeks 5-6 going into Level 3. There seems to
be an increase when we move from one level to another, so its critically important we stay vigilant
even going into Level 1 & 2.
The Covid-19 outbreak has at the very least brought to the surface some key awareness messaging
for us all to acknowledge. It’s given us a severe wake up call about taking life for granted, but also a
chance to come together and change the way we do some things.
For example, its great there has been an increased awareness for our most vulnerable groups in
society, particularly the elderly. The real shame is that it shouldn’t take a world wide pandemic for us
to realise this. We should be supporting our older community members anyway, pandemic or not.
The challenge for our community is to carry on this way of thinking even after everything returns to
normal. Elder Abuse Awareness week is coming up in June, and it’s a great opportunity to carry on
the momentum already gathered. You could visit or set up regular events with older family members,
get to know your neighbour and find out if they have sufficient supports. It can include something as
simple as giving a friendly smile when seeing a stranger on the street.
Local family violence services have been diligently working as best they can with limited capacity, and
are opening up services as we move through the levels. They are all still available if required. Check
out the TSFT website:
https://www.taranakisafefamilies.org.nz/
For relevant services or if you need any other advice you can contact
TSFT email – tsft@xtra.co.nz
Take it easy and stay safe.
Dane Haskell
Co-ordinator Taranaki Safe Famillies Trust