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Breaking the family violence cycle

Breaking the family violence cycle

The Government has announced it will introduce a whole-of-Government approach to address family violence in New Zealand, break the cycle of violence and achieve intergenerational change.

Associate Minister for Social Development, Tariana Turia says Achieving Intergenerational Change – A whole-of-Government approach recognises that government agencies must strengthen the way they work with each other and with non-governmental organisations and communities to truly address family violence in New Zealand.

At a practical level this means developing shared goals, collaborative decision-making and taking joint action to change our response to family violence.

“This whole-of-Government approach supports Whānau Ora where families are empowered to make changes in their lives and where government agencies are required to work together to assist families where necessary.

“The issues surrounding family violence are complex and cannot be fixed by one agency alone,” says Minister Turia.

“Achieving Intergenerational Change is about addressing violence issues that families face and weaving the strands of work together into an integrated, cohesive approach to ensure people are given the support they need to turn their lives around.

Achieving Intergenerational Change - A whole-of-Government approach is an overarching approach that will include a suite of activity to strengthen the family violence system, and build on existing initiatives that are making a real impact in communities.”

These initiatives include:

• The E Tū Whānau principles and framework which empowers whānau, hapū and iwi to respond to family violence by identifying solutions and implementing them

• The Pasefika Proud principles and framework which encourages and supports Pacific communities to take ownership of the issue of family violence

• The It’s not OK campaign which has been successful in raising attention to the issue of family violence and preventing violence. The It’s not OK campaign aims to change attitudes and behaviour that tolerate any kind of family violence, and encourages and supports New Zealanders to seek help.

Mrs Turia says Achieving Intergenerational Change - A whole-of-Government approach focuses on preventing family violence and complements the Justice sector initiatives announced by Justice Minister Judith Collins and Police & Corrections Minister Anne Tolley, which are designed to protect those women and children who are already victims of violence in the home.

“International research indicates that stopping violence from occurring in the first place is the key to the long-term reduction in family violence.

“And that requires strong, thriving families capable of caring for each other. By strengthening families, we will also be able to protect our older people from abuse and neglect at the hands of family members,” says Mrs Turia.

It will also complement work already underway to better support New Zealand’s most vulnerable children, by aligning with initiatives in the Children’s Action Plan.

“We know that children who are exposed to family violence in their childhood are at greater risk of becoming perpetrators and victims of family violence in their adulthood - perpetuating the cycle. So we must work together to break that cycle.

Achieving Intergenerational Change - A whole-of-Government approach recognises that family violence devastates the lives of too many New Zealanders.

“In some cases it can span multiple relationships and generations, making it seem so widespread and ingrained that people feel powerless to address it.

“We need to respond to violence happening today, by strengthening families and giving them the support they need to make the necessary changes to become violence-free.”

The Government currently funds nearly $70 million to NGOs for family violence services.

“As part of the development of Achieving Intergenerational Change, I have directed officials to look at how effective these services are, and how well they are integrated.

“Along with the results of this stocktake, I expect officials to report back to the Social Development Minister on family violence governance structures by the end of the year,” says Mrs Turia.


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