Topic: Native Affairs

Report offers alternative solutions to curb violence

By Heta Gardiner

According to recommendations from the Family Violence Death Review Committee, practitioners need to proactively make sure victims are safe, and focus on the person using violence. These are just some of the many recommendations the committee has suggested to curb violence.

The challenge to anti-violence groups. Stop focusing exclusively on the victims.

“We need to shift the focus from the victim to the person using violence,” says Professor Denise Wilson from the Family Violence Death Review Committee.

The release shows, women in New Zealand experience a higher rate of violence from their intimate partners than women in 14 other OECD countries. Additionally, over a 10 year period there were 312 family violence deaths in New Zealand.

“Stop asking victims what they are doing about their safety and that of their children, and giving them more practical help about being safe,” says Wilson.

Women's Refuge has been supporting victims for more than 40 years. They agree to one of the recommendations that encourage a more collaborative approach, within organisations in this field.

“We welcome likeminded organisations to build relationships, to support domestic violence in our country,” says Womana Refudge worker, Rangianiwaniwa Pehihiko.

But they also feel that increased resourcing will help immensely.

“To support us further we need more money,” says Pehihiko.

“We haven't had a pay increase in pūtea in 6 years,” says

“In the report we outline that there needs to be an investment approach,” says Wilson.

She also went on to say, “There are things that we outline in the report that don't cost any money. And that is about, how do we approach family violence.”

The committee is encouraged by the ministers' cross-government work program to improve family violence.