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Issues Paper calls for improved response to perpetrators of family violence

December 01, 2016 at 5:21 PM

*From the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse*

The New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse has today published Issues Paper 11, Responding to perpetrators of family violence.

The Issues Paper states that better responses to perpetrators of family violence are needed if New Zealand’s high rate of family violence is to be cut.

In a media release, author Professor Devon Polaschek, from Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Psychology said “Victims of family violence absolutely need specialist services and support to enable their safety and recovery.” 

However “[t]o reduce rates of family violence, we also need to invest in a system that responds to perpetrators. New Zealand has no such system and responses are piecemeal, insufficient and mired in a complex web of bureaucracy.”

Behaviour change programmes were too short to change the behaviour of a lifetime, and funding for people self-referring to programmes was limited, she says.

Professor Polaschek called for responses by Police, Courts, Corrections, child protection and non-government agencies to be based on high quality evidence and a shared conceptual understanding, better integrated and extending beyond simply responding to crises.

“Perpetrator responses will also be more effective if more funds are invested in public education and social marketing campaigns, similar to road safety campaigns,” says Professor Polaschek.

“These efforts work to change norms that enable violence, including questioning gender roles, especially what it is to be a man, a partner, and a father in New Zealand.”

Family violence includes intimate partner violence, child abuse and abuse of any family or whānau member.”

The paper has been released to coincide with White Ribbon Day and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 25 November.

Free seminars on the paper will be held in Auckland (Wednesday 30 November) and Wellington (Friday 2 December). For people in other places, Superu will livestream the Wellington seminar on Facebook. Follow the links to register.


Long-term support needed to combat family violence, NewstalkZB, 25.11.2016

Category: Reports