11 May 2020

Government to invest millions into family violence services

5:36 am on 11 May 2020

The government is investing an extra $202 million over the next four years to strengthen family and sexual violence services.

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Photo: 123RF

It's the latest announcement ahead of this year's Budget release on Thursday.

Justice Under-Secretary Jan Logie said the money will primarily go to frontline services through the Ministry of Social Development, for victims and perpetrators of family violence and victims of elder abuse.

"At a time of national crisis [for the Covid-19 pandemic] we have never needed them more.

"We know this crisis has increased pressure to New Zealand families and that more victims are isolated, it's right that we respond properly to this," she said.

Associate Minister of Social Development Poto Williams said the initiatives in this year's funding boost build on on last year's Wellbeing Budget.

"We have been consistently clear that this government's approach to family violence and sexual violence is long-term and multi-year, and it needs to be if we are to end the scourge of family violence and sexual violence in New Zealand," she said.

Breakdown of funding

An extra $183m will be spent over the next four years for the Ministry of Social Development to ensure continued access to specialist family violence services, including:

  • $142m on services supporting victims of family violence
  • $16m on services to help perpetrators to stop inflicting family violence
  • $25m to support for victims of elder abuse

As well, an extra $19.9m will be spent on a cross-agency initiative with police, justice and health to ensure victims of non-fatal strangulation can access highly trained medical practitioners, trained to deal with the trauma.

The money will also cover forensic services necessary to gather the robust evidence needed to prosecute offenders.

See all RNZ coverage of Covid-19

  • Domestic violence calls to police increase in lockdown
  • Poverty, family violence discussed at Epidemic Response Committee meeting
  • Getting tough: How New Zealand could stop domestic violence
  • Govt agencies sharing details on family violence will save lives - Jan Logie
  • New law aims to reduce family violence and put victims first