The Taupo Violence Intervention Network has used every possible means at their disposal - even mobile ones - to get the word out. The approach draws on strong community support and is reaching new audiences.
It's not OK everywhere
Since 2008, Co-ordinator Gloria Eves has been campaigning against family violence in the Taupo district on behalf of the network. Among the places Taupo residents and visitors see It's Not OK messages are:
- on three mobility taxis that turn campaign slogans into moving billboards
- in mini booklets in stands at hotels, motels, restaurants, cafes, a cinema, service stations, fast food outlets and the superloo
- on six billboards on roads leading into Taupo, Turangi and Mangakino
- on ads played before movies at the cinema Mobility van
- in ads in community newspapers
- on community notice boards
- at stands at community events such as the district council's Our Neighbourhood summer series, Mental Health Awareness Day or child safety days
- at events such as health and safety seminars run by the council and ACC
- at library displays alongside the book It's Time We Starting Telling These Stories
- on a Baches to Beautiful Homes tour that raised funds for the network.
Customising the booklet
The It's not OK Campaign and Tenon Manufacturing Ltd, a wood manufacturing company, contributed funds to print 20,000 copies of a mini booklet on family violence that is small enough to tuck into a shoe or a bra.
Taupo was the first region in the country to customise the booklet with local phone numbers.
"Be a better partner and a better father"
To reach a new audience, Gloria donated the book It's Time We Starting Telling These Stories to nearby Tongariro/Rangipo Prison where It's not OK Champion Vic Tamati also shared his story.
Afterwards, one prisoner wrote a letter asking for support to change.
I have been reading a book donated by Taupo Violence Intervention Network and in reading that book I have realised that I have been doing things in my relationship that this book has made me be aware of and that I have suffered from as I was growing up.
I wish to change. I was hoping you could help me or give me information to make the changes in my life so I can be a better partner and better father for my children and have a better future.
On feedback forms, prisoners said they would take part in stopping violence.
Gloria is now exploring opportunities to run a programme at Tongariro/Rangipo Prison.
Having a personal insight into family violence or wanting to demonstrate community spirit are the strongest motivators for supporters and sponsors, Gloria says.
"We've had a really good response from people and businesses. For a lot of people in the community it's a way of doing something positive without having to talk explicitly about their own experiences."
Early on, when Gloria set up stands at expos, people used to smile and walk by.
"Now people are actually stopping and asking for information. They'll say, ‘My friend or my mother is in a violent relationship. How can I help them?' I think the community is now more open and willing to engage."
"Sometimes you have to see something eight times before you take it in. We've been lucky to have the nationwide It's not OK Campaign so people see the ads on TV. Then we work at the grass roots to promote the messages that violence is not OK and that it is OK to talk about it."
Even Gloria's own children have adopted the catchphrase "It's not OK" to describe unacceptable behaviour.