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Frontline services excited by Government addressing violence

Frontline services excited by Government’s forward momentum in addressing domestic violence

A major national domestic violence network has enthusiastically welcomed today’s announcement by the Government of a joint venture approach to addressing family and sexual violence in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Spokesperson and Kaiarahi, Merran Lawler on behalf of Te Kupenga Whakaoti Mahi Patunga/National Network of Stopping Violence Services said the announcement represented a significant opportunity for finding genuine solutions to address the country’s appalling rates of domestic violence.

“Past government approaches to domestic violence prevention and intervention have been piecemeal, disconnected from communities and hampered by the siloed thinking which Under-Secretary Jan Logie spoke of today. Those working to support victims and their children and those working with perpetrators to challenge and change behaviours have long advocated for a joined-up system in which those responsible for developing and implementing government domestic violence programmes, policies and approaches are singing from the same song book and are accountable to those impacted by that violence.

We are particularly pleased to see the Government committing to the development of a national strategy and action plan – a plan which is not simply the province or property of government ministers and a handful of bureaucrats but which is developed and implemented in partnership with the wider community, with those impacted by domestic violence and with those who work at the coalface of domestic violence prevention, intervention and recovery.”

Ms Lawler said that past practices, particularly in terms of government funding of domestic violence services, had created an unhealthy environment of competition rather than collaboration, of shifting blame rather than embracing responsibility and of shutting out the voices of those with the greatest insights and contributions to make towards a violence-free Aotearoa.

“The promise of a vehicle for an integrated and collaborative response to both domestic and sexual violence, a vehicle driven by government but guided, informed by and accountable to the wider community (including the experts who currently work at the frontline and most importantly the people impacted by family and sexual violence) feels like real forward momentum in addressing the scourge of violence which afflicts us. We look forward to working in collaboration with government in ensuring that forward momentum is maintained and the end goal of all but eliminating family and sexual violence is achieved.”


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