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Dyson: Phase two of Campaign on Family Violence

Hon Ruth Dyson
Minister for Social Development & Employment
Minister for Senior Citizens
Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector
Minister for Disability Issues

14 February 2007 Speech Notes

Launch of the ads for phase two of the Campaign for Action on Family Violence

11.00 to 11.45 am, Beehive ground floor foyer

Rau rangatira maa,
tenei te mihi ki a koutou i runga i te kaupapa o te ra.
Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.

[Distinguished guests, greetings to you gathered here for this purpose today. Greetings once, twice, three times to you all.]

Welcome to parliament everyone.

Thank you for coming to the launch of the ads for phase two of the Campaign for Action on Family Violence and release of the ongoing Programme of Action by the Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families.

Thank you also for coming here on Valentines Day – the irony of talking about partner violence on a day dedicated to romance is not lost on me. Hopefully through this campaign, this year’s Valentines Day will be a lot happier in many homes.

I would like to acknowledge:
Rajen Prasad, Families Commission Chief Commissioner
Heather Henare, Chief Executive of the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges
Tau Huirama, Chief Executive Strategic Relations of Jigsaw.

They will be available to take any questions you have later in this briefing.

Family violence affects us all. It causes death, injury and fear. It causes families to break up and jeopardises children’s health, education and future. It has economic costs to families, the health system, the justice system and workplaces.

The Police deal with more than 70,000 calls about family violence every year – that’s about one call every seven and a half minutes.

Family violence is not unique to any one community. It happens across all cultures and social classes.

In June 2005 the Taskforce for Action on Family Violence was set up to eliminate family violence in New Zealand.

Made up of chief executives from government departments non-government organisations, independent Crown entities and the Judiciary, the taskforce has been responsible for some major achievements in particular the nationwide Campaign for Action on Family Violence, led by the Ministry of Social Development and the Families Commission.

Reducing family violence is a key priority for our government, backed up by Tuesday’s announcement of full funding for all contracted, essential social services for families, children and young people delivered by community groups. A well-funded NGO sector is critical if we are to prevent family violence. Non-government organisations are better placed than core government agencies to provide practical support to families, and because they understand their communities and the families who live in them, they’re likely to be the first port of call for help.


The Campaign for Action on Family Violence

The first phase of the Campaign for Action on Family Violence included the “IT’S NOT OK” ads which started screening in September last year.

The ads are helping alert New Zealanders to the widespread prevalence and serious nature of family violence in New Zealand.

The first results about how the ads are going show the campaign is already making a difference. It has struck a chord with New Zealanders and people are taking action as a result.

The survey of randomly selected adults showed that 87% remembered the campaign message ‘Family violence – IT’S NOT OK’ - a very high proportion in comparison with other similar campaigns.

And, more than half of those people - 58% - said they had discussed the campaign with someone and one in five reported taking action.

The ad also has had strong impact across Maori and Pacific audiences.

After just three months, these are excellent results we can continue to build on to make a difference in our communities.

The Taskforce’s Ongoing Programme of Action
These ads are not airing in a vacuum. The Taskforce’s Ongoing Programme of Action will strengthen and support the endeavours of the campaign. The programme details the Taskforce’s achievements to date and sets out it‘s future plans to build on them.

Over the next year the Taskforce will focus especially on those initiatives that have the biggest impact on preventing violence.

Some of those initiatives include:
• developing Maori and Pacific programmes of action
• developing a work programme to prevent and reduce child abuse
• developing the Family Violence-Free Workplaces initiative, initially to be implemented in the Ministry of Social Development, ACC and the Police
• and continuing the Family Violence Interagency Response System, which uses a local case co-ordination approach to family violence events involving children.

The second phase
The first phase of the campaign was about raising awareness about the need to ask for help and for everyone to play a part. The second phase, starting this weekend, is about showing change is possible and focuses on real stories of positive change.

This second phase of the campaign is based on research and targets male perpetrators of violence and calls on them to change their behaviour.

The men you are about to see in the ads today are not actors. They are real people and these are their real stories. I believe they are very brave for coming forward and allowing New Zealanders into their lives.

Men are key to solving family violence problems – not just by changing their own behaviour if they are committing violence but by influencing other men and helping their brothers, sons, fathers, uncles and friends to change.

I am also pleased to have the men featured in this campaign here with us today - Alfred Ngaro, Brian Gardener, George Ashby and Victor Tamati -
And I understand they will be willing to talk further with members of the media after this presentation.

These ads show that it is OK to ask for help and that change is possible – it takes courage, effort and determination.

I am proud to be able to show you the ads that support this phase of the campaign.

Everyone has a right to live without fear. If we can reach those who abuse their partners we will have made a significant difference to the lives of many hundreds of New Zealanders and their children.

Thank you


ENDS

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