Taking a stand against family violence
Marlborough woman Liz Collyns believes the best way to prevent family violence is to be neighbourly.
As she takes up her new role as co-ordinator at the Marlborough Violence Intervention Project, that is the message she will be pushing.
"People are quite afraid to offer help. I think the problem is that we now need permission to be neighbourly. We never used to have to do that, it just happened," she says.
"People need to be a bit more pro-active. It's chatting over the fence, taking some fruit and veges from the garden over, just being aware of what everyone is doing. It can be done."
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When she became a mother, Liz says she struggled with her daughter's constant crying and imagined what it would be like for women with no partner or family support.
"I never understood why women hurt their babies when they're crying until that moment.
"Some people think that they don't deserve help, which is the most tragic thing."
Liz says often people feel it is not their business, and she wants to get more "ordinary people" involved in the fight against family violence.
"People who aren't violent think 'it's nothing to do with me', but actually it's to do with all of us and we've all got to stand up. If people aren't coping, we need to offer support."
Along with collecting ideas and kick-starting campaigns, Liz will be organising this year's White Ribbon Day event.
The co-ordinator position is a part-time job that is contracted for a year, and Liz says she will do as much as she can in that time.
- The Marlborough Express