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Family Violence Prevention Action Plan Presented

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey today released a Plan of Action that identifies five key areas where future efforts should be focused to prevent family violence.

The Review of Family Violence Prevention in New Zealand Plan of Action draws on the results of four community workshops held earlier this year, written submissions, interviews with key experts and an extensive review of New Zealand and overseas literature. Mr Maharey said he has asked for a draft five year strategy to be drawn up by the end of October which the Government can use when deciding how the plan is to be implemented.

“Government and non-government agencies have been working together for the past year to establish what is and what is not working in reducing and preventing violence within families/whanau.

“Expert groups and individuals consulted during the development of this Action Plan agree that we should focus on five core areas:

- raising public awareness of family violence;

- ensuring prevention and intervention services are meeting a wide range of needs;

- placing more emphasis on the provision of prevention and early intervention strategies, such as parenting education and school-based programmes;

- ensuring that family violence prevention services are culturally relevant; and,

- maintaining a high level of commitment and consistency by government and non-government agencies as a whole to addressing family violence.

“Family Violence is a significant social issue in New Zealand and a 1994 study estimated it affected one in seven families and cost $1.2b annually. While some progress has been achieved, more needs to be done including greater coordination and cooperation amongst agencies working with families.

“The Government is now considering how the plan can be implemented. I have asked the Family Violence Focus Group, an expert advisory group made up of government and non-government agencies, to begin development of a five-year implementation strategy for the Government to consider.

“The Action Plan is a significant contribution towards the goal of reducing family violence as contained in the Government’s Crime Reduction Strategy.

“The vision of the Action Plan - families/whanau living free from violence - is one that we as a nation must genuinely aspire to. The Government is committed to seeing the goals of the Action Plan achieved,” Mr Maharey said.


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