Le Va wants people to catch themselves to prevent family violence

Pacific health and well-being organisation Le Va aims to equip families with culturally-appropriate information, knowledge and skills to maintain respectful relationships with people in their ‘bubble’ while we stay at home in isolation due to Covid-19. They have provided a suite of practical resources and information on how people can manage their frustration/anger and maintain respectful relationships within their household at this stressful time.



International evidence suggests violence and sexual violence increases during a pandemic.


With high levels of conflict and stress related to job insecurity, financial worries, isolation from supports, scarcity of food, and unwell whanau members there can be an increased strain on relationships within families, or within the self-isolation ‘bubble’.


While in Alert Level 4 due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has described those that live in our household during isolation as a ‘bubble’.


As we know, lockdown rules state that we must practice social distancing from everyone outside of our bubble when not at home.


The strict coronavirus lockdown has seen an uptick in reported family violence as evidenced in an increase of demand of Women’s


Refuges since the lockdown was put in close.


Violence in the home does not impact all communities equally.


Women, children & youth, Pasifika, Māori, and LGBTQ+, and those that already experience economic hardship are at increased risk of experiencing violence.


Pasifika cultures are traditionally collective and communal and family connectedness is a core cultural value.


A ‘bubble’ for Pasifika families is more likely to include many generations and extended family.


However, this may mean an increased risk of transmission of infectious diseases – over 40% of Pasifika people experience household crowding compared to 10% of other New Zealanders.


This also may mean higher levels of conflict within relationships, and potentially, violence.


Le Va’s #CatchYourself campaign aims to prevent that violence.


Based on psychological interventions that are known to work #CatchYourself follows four basic steps.



1. Catch yourself- Stop


Notice how you feel. Know your triggers and warning signs. If you know what sets off your anger, you know when to #CatchYourself

2. Take a step back – Breathe


Take a step back and take a deep breath. When we slow down our breathing our mind and body automatically calms down

3. Calm the mind – Think


Think before you act. What impact might you have on other people in your bubble? It’s not worth it, the situation will pass

4. Act with respect – Be Kind


Show your values in how you act. Focus on maintaining respectful relationships and be kind to people in your bubble