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Breaking the cycle of family and sexual violence

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Breaking the cycle of family and sexual violence and better supporting survivors is a major feature of the Wellbeing Budget, with the Government delivering the largest ever investment in family and sexual violence and support services.

The budget package will deliver more support services delivered to more New Zealanders, major campaigns aimed at stopping violence occurring and major changes to court process to reduce the trauma victims experience.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Parliamentary Under-Secretary Jan Logie today announced a new and collaborative approach to tackling one of the country’s most disturbing long-term challenges.

"There has never before been investment of this scale in preventing and responding to family violence and sexual violence," Jacinda Ardern said.

"Every year about one million New Zealanders are affected by family and sexual violence, including almost 300,000 children. This is something I know New Zealand is ashamed of and the Government is taking a major step forward in fixing on the budget.

"Wellbeing means being safe and free from violence. That is why this package is such a significant cornerstone of the Wellbeing budget.

"My goal has always been for New Zealand to be the best place in the world to be a child and that means supporting parents and communities to ensure children grow up in secure homes free from violence," Jacinda Ardern said.

The family and sexual violence package, which sits across eight portfolios, is the result of the first ever joint Budget bid from multiple government departments. It includes funding and support for:

- 1 million New Zealanders covered by Integrated Safety Response sites (Christchurch and Waikato), and 350,000 by the Whāngaia Ngā Pā Harakeke and Whiria Te Muka sites (in Gisborne, Counties Manukau and Kaitaia)

- 24/7 sexual violence crisis support services for up to 2,800 children and young people every year, and an additional 7,700 adult victims and survivors from 2020/21

- Funding for major advertising campaigns and intervention programmes to reduce violence occurring

- Using video victim statements to reduce trauma for up to 30,000 victims of family violence every year, and reduce time spent in court,

- Enabling victims of sexual violence to give evidence in court in alternative ways in order to reduce the risk of experiencing further trauma, and providing specialist training for lawyers in sexual violence cases

- specialist training for lawyers in sexual violence cases

- improving the wellbeing of male victims and survivors of sexual violence through peer support services - up to 1,760 from 2020/21 onwards

- dedicated funding for a kaupapa Māori response to sexual violence

- training for health practitioners in District Health Boards to provide effective screening and referrals for family violence

"We know this is a long-term project. The package we’re announcing today lays the foundations for a violence-free Aotearoa New Zealand," Jan Logie, Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice (Domestic and Sexual Violence Issues) said.

"The package announced today gives providers funding security, while making available significant extra resource to break the cycle of violence and provide more women, men and children the help they need.

"I want to acknowledge and thank Ministers Andrew Little, Carmel Sepuloni, Tracey Martin, Nanaia Mahuta, Chris Hipkins, Stuart Nash, Kelvin Davis, Iain Lees-Galloway, and Jenny Salesa for their support and commitment to this work," Jan Logie said.

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