Women Keeping Themselves And Their Children Safe
The independent evaluation of Women’s Living without violence programmes released by the Ministry of Justice today shows that these programmes work to provide women with resources and ideas that help keep them and their children safe.
The evaluation showed that the programmes exceeded the participants expectations in almost all areas, and that there were significant gains for women on the programme when compared with a comparison group of women with protection orders who did not attend a programme.
Some of the
comments from women interviewed include:
‘I just got so much understanding about relationships and abuse’,
‘I enjoyed meeting people It gives you the awareness you are not the only one suffering’
‘It built my strength - gave me my strength back and taught me to control my own life’
‘It was amazing how similar the experiences were and to discover you weren’t mad’
The evaluation was of two programmes provided by agencies affiliated to the National Network Stopping Violence Services. These programmes are available for women who have been the victims of family violence.
‘While the evaluation is overwhelmingly positive, it does point to some areas where we can improve’ said Deb Stewart a member of the National Executive. ‘In particular to ensure that Maori women have culturally specific programmes available for them.’
‘Violence against women is still a serious problem in New Zealand. As well as encouraging and supporting men to take responsibility for their violence, Stopping Violence Services provides support and education opportunities for women to gain skills and support to enhance their safety, and that of their children’ said Ms Stewart
The evaluation also notes that these programmes are very poorly funded especially for women who do not have a protection order. ‘We need to ensure that these opportunities are freely available to all women who need them, and need ongoing Government and community financial support to make this happen’ concluded Deb Stewart.
Contact: Paul Prestidge
National Network of Stopping Violence Services
Ph 04 4996384 / 025 529556