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Barnardos welcomes new gov family and sexual violence budget

Barnardos says that the family and sexual violence package announced by the Government as part of its forthcoming Wellbeing Budget is an example of public spending that should lead to better outcomes for children, families and whānau.

Speaking about the $320 million initiative across the next four years, Barnardos Chief Executive, Mike Munnelly says that “This is an example of the kind of public spending choice we are hoping to see across the Wellbeing Budget. It signals a cross-agency approach, which is essential for making change on an entrenched, damaging problem such as family and sexual violence, which mars the lives of far too many children, families and whānau in our country. The package is a clear choice from the Government to invest in an area where it is urgently needed, to prevent the harm and to improve the lives of children, families and whānau, and some of the most vulnerable people in our society at their toughest time.”

Mr Munnelly says Barnardos is pleased to see the package includes “a combination of preventative initiatives which are proven to work to keep children and families safe, and new initiatives to prevent more children and adults ending up victims of family and sexual violence. Alongside this, we welcome the fact that the package invests in support services for those who have been victims of family or sexual violence. We know that getting the right support can lead to positive outcomes, even when children and families have been through the trauma of family and sexual violence, which can and does have life-long impacts.”

Barnardos, Aotearoa New Zealand’s national children’s charity works across a range of areas every day towards the vision of ‘An Aotearoa New Zealand where every child shines bright.’ Barnardos’ work related to family violence includes a number of family violence prevention initiatives, support services for children and families who have experienced family violence, and advocating for systemic change to support every child and family to live free of family violence, child abuse and neglect.

Mr Munnelly says that “Because of the work we do every day in this space, we know first-hand the scale of the problem of family violence and abuse in our country, and the trauma it causes. Barnardos is clear that An Aotearoa where every child shines bright is a place where all children are safe from harm. Children and young people tell us that they want to be safe and feel loved at home. Their families and whānau tell us that they want to keep their children safe and provide them with the love and support that makes this possible.”

Mr Munnelly observes that “In our work, Barnardos’ people see the damaging and negative effects family violence has on children and their families and whānau, but we also see the change that can be supported through providing early help to prevent situations from spiralling further into family violence and other forms of violence. We see this, for example, in our work in South Auckland in partnership with other organisations who share our kaupapa of every child in this country growing up safe. In working with children and families where violence has occurred, in Canterbury and Waikato as part of the Integrated Safety Response, Barnardos brings a strong child-centred lens. Through Barnardos’ children’s safety programmes and family violence work with family and whānau members, we see the positive impact of providing effective, professional support for children and families who have experienced violence. This Government package should help more children to grow up in homes which are safe and loving, and to minimise the effects of family and sexual violence related trauma. Barnardos emphasises that being safe and living violence-free is the right of every child in Aotearoa, and something that we believe all families and whānau want.”


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