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Budget Boost For Violence Prevention Major Step Towards Changing Violent Culture, Shine Says

Shine welcomes the Government’s funding boost of $183 million towards family violence services, and says focusing on supporting perpetrators to change is a major step forward.

Shine’s Acting General Manager Sally Ward says the Government’s Budget initiatives take a more comprehensive approach than previously, by looking at both prevention and management of family violence.

“Family violence will never be stopped without a focus on prevention,” says Sally. “We welcome the budget focus on men using violence. We hope too that it will include men who are concerned about their own behaviour and choose to seek help.”

Shine has run ‘No Excuses’, a stopping violence programme for men, for more than 20 years helping 3,500 men to change their behaviour and build respectful, non-violent relationships. Many of the men who come to Shine say they wish they had learnt positive relationship skills earlier in their lives.

“While we do not yet know the extent of the funding available for Shine’s programmes, we would hope it would allow us to expand our services to reach all men who have a desire or a need to change what it means to be a man: to be able to manage emotions and communicate with respect and care for their partners, their children and others.”

Shine notes that the boost in funding also acknowledges the role of specialist domestic violence organisations and their staff in preventing and managing the violence that impacts on so many families in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Sally continued: “The focus on specialist services is crucial. Women and children who are experiencing abuse deserve professional end-to-end, high-quality support that meets a wide range of needs.”

The funding will provide support for organisations like Shine, to attract, retain and develop specialist family violence staff, which is likely to increase both the quality and the success of their services.

“The work we do is highly skilled, and staff need to be able to access regular training and development to keep them at the cutting edge. This has always been a challenge as previous funding has not included the broader cost of ongoing training to ensure staff are up-to-date with the latest developments, and research to support our clients.”

Shine notes that while the funding will be welcome, it will not cover the cost of running a highly skilled, time and labour-intensive support service.

“For many years, organisations providing family violence services have struggled to cover their costs and to remain sustainable. The four-year approach will give us some additional stability, but we will still need funding from donors and corporates to continue our work. We are making progress, but changing culture and behaviour requires massive effort and investment.”

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