Improving how the Govt responds to family violence

  • Anne Tolley
  • Amy Adams
Social Development Justice

The Government is seeking input into a new Risk Assessment and Management Framework designed to keep victims safer, Ministers have announced.

The framework proposes a better, more consistent way to assess and manage the risks of family violence so victims can get the help they need, whoever they turn to.

“This Government wants to do what we can to ensure that New Zealanders are protected from family violence. We know that properly and consistently identifying risk and intervening earlier is critical to achieving this,” says Justice Minister Amy Adams.

“Regardless of which agency victims go to, we want to ensure there is no wrong door and people receive effective help that meets their individual needs.

“Many organisations have their own risk assessment and management methods, but we don’t have a common approach which means agencies assess and respond to warning signs differently. By introducing a national standard for good practice, our aim is to achieve consistency to better support victims, irrespective of who they turn to for help.”

The discussion document provides safe practice principles and guidance on identifying family violence and assessing the risks of further violence. It includes examples of the types of questions to ask when screening for family violence and how to conduct risk assessment in a safe and structured way by exploring the presence, frequency and severity of violence.

Feedback is being sought on the discussion document to further develop it.

“The proposed framework is a practical resource to ensure victims receive help appropriate to their level of risk and that meets their individual needs. It is vital we also work with perpetrators to support them to change their behaviour to live violence-free,” says Social Development Minister Anne Tolley.

“It’s important we get input from agencies and providers who deal with family violence to draw on their knowledge and experience. We want to build on their expertise to create a resource that is useful to help support them in the valuable work they do.”

The discussion document is at and runs until 2 September.

Decisions about the framework will be made by Ministers in November, with the aim of progressively implementing it next year.

The Risk Assessment and Management Framework is a key initiative developed by the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence Work Programme which is committed to reducing family violence and keeping victims safe.