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Government must fund family violence programme - Bishop

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Budget 2019 must appropriate money for the innovative and successful family violence intervention programme known as the Integrated Safety Response (ISR), says National’s Police spokesperson Chris Bishop.

"The programme was established by the previous National-led government and has been running in two pilot sites (Christchurch and Hamilton) since mid-2016. But funding is set to run out by 30 June 2019.

"ISR is a multi-agency programme that works to ensure the immediate safety of victims and children, and to work with perpetrators to prevent further violence. Key features include dedicated staff, funded specialist services for victims and perpetrators, and an intensive case management approach to collectively work with high risk families.

"An evaluation report in 2017 showed that the level of seriousness and frequency of family violence incidents reduced significantly in the six months after people came into contact with the pilot. So far 75,500 individuals have been through the ISR system, with 31,381 family safety plans created.

"The Government has talked a big game on family violence reduction, but so far have delivered little in the way of tangible improvements. National’s intention was always to roll out ISR around the country after the pilot period, and this Government should follow National’s lead.

"The Government missed an opportunity to strengthen and expand the ISR in last year’s Budget and they must not miss this chance again.

"They should be looking at expanding this successful programme around the country, rather than leaving providers in limbo waiting for new money."

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