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Family Violence Standard To Reduce Harm

9 June 2006

Family Violence Standard To Reduce Harm And Enhance Victim Safety

New Zealand Police National News Release

The first national family violence Standard released today, aims to reduce harm, enhance victim safety and increase offender accountability by providing a Standard for screening, risk assessment and intervention for agencies working with victims and perpetrators of family violence.

The Standard, entitled: NZS 8006:2006 Screening, risk assessment and intervention for family violence including child abuse and neglect will be used by agencies or individuals that work with families and children, including the Police; the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services; teachers; physical and mental health workers; GPs; and social workers.

"A family is a place where everyone should be safe, yet increasing family violence, abuse and neglect, are major and concerning social issues in New Zealand," says New Zealand Police Acting Assistant Commissioner Roger Carson.

Mr Carson says police recorded over 60,000 offences and non-offence incidents involving family/ whanau violence in 2005, at which over 62,000 children and young people under age 17 were present or involved in some capacity. In 2005, 29 murders in New Zealand were family/ whanau violence related.

"Issues surrounding family/whanau violence directly affect many New Zealanders. The new Standard will help to better identify those at risk, enhance their safety and improve support for people who have been abused," said Mr Carson.

The New Zealand Police initiated and sponsored the Standard. The development of the Standard, managed by Standards NZ, involved a committee of experts from a range of sectors including: Health; Child, Youth and Family; Women's Refuge; Corrections; Justice; Education; Barnados; Police; and Plunket.

"It is vital to support and co-ordinate the efforts of agencies and services working to help people affected by family violence, said MrCarson. "This Standard provides that necessary guidance, and will enable agencies to collaborate more effectively for the benefit of the families involved."

The Standard will also:

• Enable those at the forefront of family violence issues to work more closely together to improve safety, protection and accountability.

• Set up a common language and consistent processes for agencies to use, enabling a consistent and culturally appropriate response to family violence, abuse and neglect.

• Provide a systematic approach to dealing with violence and identifying best practice guidelines for screening, risk assessment and safety planning.

ENDS


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