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Study Shows Way To Reduce Domestic Violence



A study out today shows that domestic violence in New Zealand could be greatly reduced with greater Government funding.

The study by economist Suzanne Snively, commissioned by The National Collective of Independent Women's Refuges, found that despite the well targeted and organised services provided by Refuge current levels of expenditure results in only 11 percent of women who access Refuge services known to become free from violence.

However the study found that if Government funding was doubled from $4 to $8 million the number of women and children known to be free from violence would more than double to 28 percent. This represents a 250 percent improvement in the number of women known to be free from domestic violence.

The improvement was based on the fact that women often need access to a co-ordinated range of services provided over several years.

An Improved Outcomes scenario developed in the study reflects this awareness, with the number of service hours in the first to third years, particularly in the counselling and programme service areas, being increased.

The comparison between Status Quo and Improved Outcomes models show that over a ten year period, 250% more women will become free from violence. This equates to 1,799 women in the Improved Outcomes scenario, as opposed to only 688 under Status Quo becoming violence free.

The cost of providing increased services over the ten year period to an individual woman is only 22% greater than the cost of current services. Thus rising from $20,579 for an average case to $25,033.

The report concludes that women and children continuing to live in violent relationships costs over $1 billion a year. In this context a doubling of central Government expenditure for effective Refuge services is well worth the investment.

Currently the Government provides less than a fifth of the cost to Refuge for providing services to the 7000 womaen and 10,000 children helped each year.

While the study looked at a ten year period it concluded that:

* With current Government funding of $4 million per annum, an estimated 8000 women will become free from violence over the next 20 years.

* However if Government funding was doubled to $8 million, an estimated 20,000 women would become free from violence over the next twenty years.


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