Govt family violence pilot steps up to be the difference

  • Judith Collins
  • Anne Tolley
  • Amy Adams
Social Development Police Justice

Ministers today welcomed a new pilot in Christchurch which aims to ensure families experiencing family violence are safe and receive the services they need to prevent further harm.

At the heart of the new approach are government agencies and NGOs working together for families and whānau to provide increased support to high-risk victims, better manage perpetrators and improve collaboration between agencies.

The Integrated Safety Response pilot brings together a range of agencies including Police, CYF, Corrections, Health, specialist family violence NGOs and Māori service providers to support victims and their families.

“About half of all violent offence charges in our courts relate to family violence and half of all homicide victims are killed by a family member or someone they had been in a relationship with,” Justice Minister Amy Adams says.

“This pilot demonstrates the Government’s commitment to reducing family violence by introducing a more effective approach that involves seven-day-a-week triaging of incidents as they occur to ensure responses are timely and well-targeted.”

“It’s clear we can and must do more,” Police Minister Judith Collins says.

“On average Police respond to a family violence incident every 4.9 minutes and each day Police visit 299 homes in response to family violence. This new approach means a joined up response to every episode, information sharing protocols, an evidence-based risk assessment framework, an electronic case management system and dedicated support, coordination and oversight roles.”

“The reality is that turning around intergenerational family violence will take time,” Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says.

“This is a chance for us to address the trauma and harm that family violence causes and meet the needs of those impacted, including those children and young people who witness and are subjected to family violence.”

The pilot is part of the cross-agency work programme overseen by the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. The programme aims to stop violence from occurring, reduce the harm it causes and break the cycle of re-victimisation and re-offending.

The pilot, which is based on international best practice and tailored to New Zealand’s unique circumstances, will be independently evaluated with an initial report due by the end of 2016, and second stage evaluation due in mid-2017. It’s also expected that a second pilot site will be announced soon, with the results from both sites informing decisions on possible national rollout. 

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