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Funding for family violence services confirmed

Funding to secure the continuation of specialist family violence programmes will be provided in the Budget, the Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey announced today.

Speaking at the launch of a Women's Refuge report in Wellington this afternoon, Mr Maharey said that the Government is committed to addressing the causes and consequences of violence in our society. Funding for the thirty-three programmes, which deliver services across the country, was to cease on 30 June 2000. Mr Maharey said the Government has agreed to extend funding for the programmes for the 2000/01 financial year and to include this amount in the baseline for future years.

"Family violence continues to blight our society and to destroy lives. The Government is serious about addressing the causes of family violence and to providing effective services for survivors.

"Three hundred and fifty women and children are forced to seek the protection and support of Refuge services every week. New Zealanders were rightly shocked at the suffering inflicted in Bosnia and East Timor – we should be equally shocked at what is going on in our own neighbourhoods.

"Five specialist programmes have been funded since 1996, but funding for them was not provided in Vote:Child, Youth and Family Services baselines and was due to end on 30 June 2000. I am making this announcement today to ensure staff know they have secure funding and can get on with their work.

"$1.9m will be provided in the budget to enable these excellent programmes to continue for 2000/01. In addition, the Government has decided to include this amount as an on-going cost into the Department's baseline for future years.

"These programmes
 personal safety training for girls;
 Mäori family violence prevention services;
 specialist services for child victims and witnesses of family violence;
 family violence services in rural areas, and
 community based sex offender programmes
are achieving positive outcomes for children and families. At the same time they are also saving many downstream costs associated with family violence, including counselling, ACC and the cost of imprisoning offenders", Steve Maharey said.

Fact sheet: Community-based family violence programmes

What are the specialist family programmes the Government has decided to provide on-going funding for?

Funding for community-based family violence initiatives was provided for three years in the 1996/97 Budget. The programmes were designed to align with the (then) new Domestic Violence Act.

The programmes which are funded through this initiative are designed to provide services for particular client groups:

 Personal Safety Training for Girls.
Provided by Positive Action Self-defence Network and the Women's Self Defence Network-Wahine Toa, the programme delivers training to around 4000 high school and intermediate girls per year nation-wide.

 Mäori family violence prevention services.
These six iwi-based programmes deliver services in Northland, Auckland, Bay of Plenty, East Cape and Invercargill and use a 'whole family' model of addressing violence.

 Specialist services for child victims and witnesses of family violence.
These programmes target children aged 5-12 years, not covered by a Court protection order, who are at the highest risk of suffering and later acting out abuse. The programmes are based in Whangarei, Hamilton, Wairoa, Dannevirke, Dunedin, Marlborough, Christchurch, South Auckland, Lower Hutt, Waitakere, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Tauranga and New Plymouth.

 Family violence services in rural areas.
Eight service providers based in Dargaville, Bay of Plenty, the Far North, Coromandel, Marlborough, Whakatane, Kaikohe, Gisborne, East Cape and Wairoa offering outreach and marae-based services.

 Community-based sex offender programmes.
Three programmes offering treatment for 53 men per year. Based in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

What is the aim of these programmes?

The focus of these specialist programmes is to augment existing programmes with the aim of preventing family violence, through increasing awareness, assisting people who have been affected by family violence and breaking the cycle of family violence.

What do these specialist programmes cost?

Time-limited funding for three years was provided in the 1996/97 Budget for these programmes, ending in 1998/99. Additional funding was provided in the 1999/2000 Budget for a further year. This funding ends on 30 June 2000.

The Government has now decided to continue funding these programmes. $1.9m will be made available in 2000/01 and this amount will now be included within the baseline of Vote:Child, Youth and Family.

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