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Family Violence Intervention Programme Welcomed

Media Statement – for immediate release
13 July 2005

MSD Family Violence Intervention Programme Welcomed

The MSD Family Violence Intervention Programme being launched this week will make a difference for women and children who are victims of domestic violence, National Network of Stopping Violence Services says.

National Manager Brian Gardner welcomed the FVIP and congratulated the government for funding the MSD FVIP, which will deliver family violence awareness training to all Work and Income case managers by July 2007.

Mr Gardner said programmes like these make it easier for victims of domestic violence to disclose their situation and get help.

"Domestic violence is still surrounded by secrecy and shame. We know that one in three women will experience domestic violence in New Zealand and that thousands of children witness and are victims of violence in their homes.

"Programmes like these are essential because they provide opportunities for people to disclose the violence they are experiencing in a safe environment and get the support services they need."

However Mr Gardner warned that community service providers will need to be adequately resourced to meet increased demand for support services caused by more referrals.

National Network of Stopping Violence Services is the umbrella organisation for agencies which work with victims and perpetrators of domestic violence.

Mr Gardner said he applauded programmes like this one which also encourage people who use violence to get help.

The FVIP will mean Work and Income case managers understand the effects of domestic violence and the particular difficulties victims face such as isolation, shame, fearfulness and financial hardship.

Case managers will be able to refer clients to support services such as those offered by NNSVS member agencies.

"Violence against family members causes enormous unhappiness and is devastating for victims. We need to be doing all we can to change attitudes in New Zealand and it's great to see the government funding programmes which will make a difference."

He called for family violence awareness training to be delivered to frontline staff in other government agencies such as housing, health and education.

Ends

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