Danika Hotham believes the Family Violence – It's Not OK campaign will be an amazing way to raise awareness in the community about domestic violence.
Danika Hotham is the youngest champion of the Papamoa campaign. Photo by: Bruce Barnard.
The 18-year-old has just finished Year 13 at Mount Maunganui College is one of five champions that will face the month-long campaign in Papamoa next month.
“I decided to become a champion for this campaign because over the years, with my mum being a counsellor, I have spent a bit of time with her learning about many issues in society – domestic violence being one of them.
“I think this campaign is going to be an amazing way of raising the awareness in our community of this issue as it is generally very hidden and there are so many people out there, especially those my age, who are simply unaware of what is going on, so I would like to do all I can to support this cause.”
While Danika hasn't been in direct contact with domestic violence herself, she's had friends she's worried about in the past and says she found it extremely hard to know what to do.
“I think those are some very tricky situations to be in, but personally the advice I would give would just be to stop keeping these situations as the hidden secrets buried in the back of the closet like they tend to be,” says Danika.
“I think the most important first step, and quite possibly the hardest also, would be where you stop tip-toeing around that person or situation and you start to bring it out into the open.”
Danika says the worst thing you can do when faced with a situation like this, is nothing.