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Domestic Violence Can Not Be Solved By A Committee

Domestic Violence Can Not Be Solved By A Committee

Safer Aotearoa Family Violence Prevention Network (SAFVPN) is pleased that the Family Violence Death Review Committee chaired by Professor Dawn Elder has acknowledged over the last decade that at least 312 deaths in New Zealand is related to domestic violence. Dr Lorna Dyall Co- chair of Safer Aotearoa Family Violence Prevention Network said “focussing on deaths and ignoring the long term damage occurred from domestic violence affects all in the community and society. Co- chair of Safer Aotearoa Family Violence Prevention Network George Ngatai says “That along with improved integrated services and systems a well- resourced public funded program is needed in the community to deal quickly, when issues arise so that individuals, whanau and communities can work together to resolve them”.

Increased focus on the long term needs and support of victims is supported by SAFVPN and this includes perpetrators of violence and support for restorative justice services. It further improving the behaviour of abusers, predominately men whose behaviour is learned from other men and supporters across generations.

Dr. Dyall says that “SAFVPN operates from a holistic world view recognising the importance of the Treaty of Waitangi and the historical and ongoing ethnic and cultural relationships that exist in Aotearoa and the complexities these relationships create”.

Requesting Government and Non-Government providers involved in the funding, provision and monitoring of domestic violence services and interventions to be more accountable is a laudable request from those involved in the Family Violence Death Review Committee.

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Ms Raewyn Bhana Manager of SAFPN who works at the frontline with families whom are all victims of domestic violence said “To really understand issues you have to be at the grassroots level. Community groups and government agencies whom work with victims of domestic violence often operate in environments which are stressful, funding for service delivery is not secure or it can be temporary thus preventing long term planning, investment in staff and community development and limited long term assistance to families and whanau who have complex needs”.

Dr Dyall said “Domestic violence cannot be addressed in isolation from other social and economic issues as affordable housing, secure employment for men and women, investment in children’s and youth’s health and wellbeing, addressing and stopping further Treaty of Waitangi grievances” . Greater investment at a community level is also needed to address abuse of alcohol and other drugs, problem gambling, mental health and other addiction issues, support to those with chronic health and disability issues and more funding for positive parenting across the life course including support to stop elder abuse.

SAFPN is an organisation that is waiting to hear if further funding is available this year as it has already met its government contract to provide support to victims of domestic violence. As a community based organisation it operates with the support of other government and nongovernment services as part of an integrated system of service delivery.


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