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Shine delighted with new Government joint venture

Shine delighted with new Government joint venture to address family and sexual violence

Today Government is announcing that a “new way of working will bring chief executives together in a joint venture to deliver an integrated, whole-of-government approach to family violence and sexual violence. This will create a single point of accountability and leadership, as recommended by the sector and experts such as the Law Commission and the Family Violence Death Review Committee. The joint venture will enable a strategic overview of prevention, early intervention, crisis response and support for long-term recovery that will be set out in a national strategy and action plan. Its role is to lead, integrate, and provide support for everyone involved, to ensure an effective whole-of-government response to family violence and sexual violence.”

Shine is delighted with this announcement. According to Shine’s General Manager (GM) Jane Drumm:

“Previous Governments have attempted to set up structures to assist with developing and implementing a coordinated approach to family violence across Ministries. These were positive initiatives, but clearly haven’t yet provided the impetus to invest significantly in solving this massive societal problem nor enough accountability to ensure each Ministry and Government Department does its part to address the issue.

“This Government initiative shows the greatest promise of creating meaningful change in terms of an effective, system-wide response to domestic violence that prioritises safety and wellbeing for adult and child victims, and which holds perpetrators accountable while motivating and supporting them to change their behaviour.

“It’s positive that consultation and collaboration with Maori is a critical component of how this joint venture will operate, especially since Maori are disproportionately affected by family violence.”

New Zealand has unacceptable rates of family violence and sexual violence which severely undermine the lifetime wellbeing of victims and their children. For far too long, Shine and other specialist family and sexual abuse providers have struggled to support growing numbers of victims referred and needing our support, with terribly inadequate resourcing for our services.

Jane Drumm says,

“Shine’s frontline advocates spend a frustrating and disheartening amount of time battling with government agencies on behalf of our clients, either because of unhelpful or unsafe responses or because of a lack of coordination between agencies. So we have struggled to

not only support victims, but also advocate for changes in domestic violence related laws, policies and procedures of various agencies.

“But the problems are massive and complex; every time we feel there is a step forward in our Government’s response to domestic violence, there seems to be a step backwards somewhere else in the system.

“So we wholeheartedly welcome the development of ‘an ambitious national strategy and action plan’ by the end of the year and look forward to seeing many more steps forward in addressing the massive and complex problem of domestic violence in New Zealand in the near future.”

ENDS


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