ACC boosts investment in family violence intervention

  • Hon Iain Lees-Galloway

ACC will invest a further $1.7m over the next three years to support the expansion of Gandhi Nivas, an early intervention service that provides emergency accommodation and counselling for perpetrators of family violence, says Minister for ACC Iain Lees-Galloway.

"Gandhi Nivas puts families first, providing a safe environment for men to cool down in combination with counselling services it supports them as they work through their issues. Gandhi Nivas also provides services and referrals that help keep women and children safe.

“ACC invested $1.32 million in in the Gandhi Nivas service in December 2016 to enable a full wrap-around service around the perpetrator, victim and family.

“Gandhi Nivas provides counselling to help people examine the consequences of their actions. It challenges people to accept responsibility, and helps them to change their behaviour.

“Gandhi Nivas’ early intervention approach to family violence aligns to ACC’s violence prevention strategy to reduce harm caused by violence at home.

“The service deserves further investment, so I’m pleased ACC is providing further investment to enable expansion of services. This reflects on and rewards the success of the programme so far.

“The funding will support the launch of a second service in Waitemata to provide wrap-around services to help people who commit family violence.

"This early intervention approach places the victim first. Most importantly, it allows the victim to remain in the family home,” says Iain Lees-Galloway.

Notes to editors:

  • In 2018, Gandhi Nivas received 190 referrals in the first half of the year. Gandhi Nivas received 414 clients in 2017, an annual increase of 75.4 per cent.
  • Gandhi Nivas was originally set up to address the problem of family harm in the Indian community but it now helps people of all ethnicities.
  • The first house opened in 2014 in Otahuhu and a second house in Te Atatu in March 2018. A third house is due to be officially opened in Papakura in September 2018.
  • One year after the opening of Gandhi Nivas in Otahuhu, a study by Massey University’s School of Psychology has found a 43.75 per cent drop in the number of men offending after intervention, and a 57.6 per cent decrease in the frequency of re-offending, after intervention.