It’s not OK in Horowhenua - 6 August 2014

Horowhenua sports club get behind It's Not OKThe Horowhenua community campaign is focused on sports clubs, businesses and the news media. Billboards have also been put up in partnership with the District Council.

The local family violence network (HALT) ran an intensive awareness raising drive in each of the four CBDs in Horowhenua — Levin, Foxton, Otaki and Shannon.

Every business in each CBD was visited by a team from the network and given an information pack that included:

  • an explanatory letter
  • localised mini booklet
  • posters
  • HALT network pens, magnets and window stickers.

Each business was asked to:

  • make a public statement confirming their commitment to being family violence free
  • adopt family violence awareness policies with respect to their employees
  • display posters and pamphlets to encourage people to ask for help.

"The positive response from the business community was overwhelming, HALT coordinator Delphi Winter said.

"All but one Levin business accepted the information with the vast majority agreeing to display messages in their shops. A total of 134 businesses in Levin made the public declaration which was covered in the Horowhenua Chronicle.

"Many businesses recognised why we were approaching them as they had read the media surrounding the project."

A number of people sought help as a direct result of the information blitz and the network received requests from organisations to speak about the family violence prevention work they are doing as well as donations and offers of practical help.

In Otaki, the network was invited into a medical centre where nursing staff had already drafted a family violence policy. The network team was able to provide additional information, suggest ways to collaborate and name local services.

Police identified several streets in Otaki that regularly appear in family violence reports. Information was delivered door to door in these streets with a positive response from households.

Once again several people asked for help as a result of the information drive.

Sport clubs

A number of teams in Horowhenua Kapiti display the It's not OK logo on their uniforms as part of the Horowhenua It's not OK local campaign.

"We launched our first Levin football kit at a regional tournament in Wellington. Right from the start — from the kids and their parents — feedback was really positive," Sergeant John Battersby said.

"They looked smart, the It's not OK logo is almost an A4 page size and can be seen clearly across the field. They made such an impact that a lot of other teams wanted to know where they got their kit from, and after games considerable praise and positive feedback was given for it."

A workshop on family violence and what It's not OK means is delivered to all participating teams along with guidelines for appropriate sideline and on the field behaviour.

The Police and It's not OK champion Jeremy Eparaima delivered these workshops and the effect was noticeable, Sergeant Battersby said.

"I started describing my experience with family violence victims, jaws started to drop. Then Jeremy started his presentation and you could have heard a pin drop. It was really powerful stuff and well received.

"The community as a whole are responding to the message — they come up to us privately and tell us that."

News media

A strong presence in local news media and District Council publications supported the project.

The Horowhenua Chronicle ran fortnightly columns highlighting family violence in the region and supported the CBD drive by reporting it on the front page. The paper printed the list of businesses which had made a public declaration.

 

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