Council says “It’s not OK” to family violence in Upper Hutt

Press Release – Upper Hutt City Council

Throughout the month of March, the Upper Hutt community will see fresh new faces around the city raising awareness of family violence prevention and intervention. “Our new ambassadors are dedicated to increase awareness and encourage discussion …1 March 2012

Council says “It’s not OK” to family violence in Upper Hutt

Upper Hutt, Wellington NZ, 1 March 2012 — Throughout the month of March, the Upper Hutt community will see fresh new faces around the city raising awareness of family violence prevention and intervention.

“Our new ambassadors are dedicated to increase awareness and encourage discussion on family violence, which is in our very own community. Upper Hutt people are proud of where they live, and we should be proud that we can come together on challenging issues such as family violence. I want our locals to see these signs and think about who they know that may need help, or even if they themselves need someone to talk to,” says Jessica Setu, Community Development Adviser at Upper Hutt City Council.

Issy Thorpe, NZ Next Top Model finalist and Upper Hutt College alumni, will be attending the Teddy Bears Picnic in the weekend to promote the campaign and interact with families with young children. Issy is a positive role model to young women, and makes history as Council’s youngest family violence ambassador to date.

The campaign also introduces Carolyn Downer, the Hutt Valley Strengthening Families Coordinator. Strengthening Families is a free government service offered to families who are dealing with more than one community support organisation or government service. Ms Downer is heavily involved in helping families, who have experienced family violence, thrive and get back on their feet.

Another addition to the campaign is Upper Hutt entertainer, Frank Stevens. He has shown his commitment to his home town and advocacy against family violence with previous work done alongside the Upper Hutt Women’s Centre. Mr Stevens’ message to the community is based on not being afraid to ask your loved ones ‘Are you OK?’

His Worship the Mayor, Wayne Guppy, who is an existing ambassador, prompts thoughts on individual roles in the community.

Council and other agencies in the Hutt Valley work closely together to address violence and aim for a violence- free community. “Whether you’re a business owner and would like some information on how to address family violence with staff, a concerned friend or in an unsafe situation yourself, it is OK to ask for help. This is something that can’t be hidden, we all need to be aware and change must take place,” says Ms Setu.

About Upper Hutt City Council

Upper Hutt City Council is the steward and custodian of Upper Hutt City, providing governance, infrastructure, and community services and resources, and promoting opportunity in the city for business, recreation, lifestyle, and leisure. Upper Hutt City is located 30 km north-east of Wellington City (41°07’34” S, 175°04’06” E) and boasts 70% of the region’s parks and reserves, along with state-of-the-art entertainment and leisure facilities.

For more information on Upper Hutt City and the City Council, go to www.upperhuttcity.com

ENDS

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