New test service aims to reduce family violence

Posted on March 13, 2019 by Iosis

New Zealand has the highest rate of family and intimate-partner violence in the world – with around 525,000 New Zealanders harmed every year. Which is why Iosis is proud to be selected for a new test service that aims to reduce family violence through earlier intervention.

Iosis is one of only three organisations selected by the Ministry of Justice to participate in the six-month test service, which runs from February until August this year in Counties Manukau. The test involves working with families to address violence issues where a Police Safety Order has been issued. The goal is to provide an opportunity to perpetrators to change behaviour through early intervention, so that families, women and children can live safely without the fear of violence.

Jillian Parsons is a counsellor and facilitator for Merivale and teaches the Women’s Supporting Safety Programme. She believes the test service is a significant step in addressing family violence. “To keep families safe, we need to better resource and educate our women to learn how to keep themselves safe in order to keep their children safe. This programme will enable us to be on the ‘front line’ much earlier in family violence situations – and go a long way towards keeping both women and children safer.”

The service prototype was developed by a team that included family violence specialists, kaupapa Maori, people from perpetrator programmes, contract managers from Ministry of Justice, and people with experience of family violence (including victims, perpetrators and whanau). Iosis, along with Friendship House and Te Whare Ruruhau o Meri Trust, will play a role in helping to build the service, tools and resources to ensure it is fit-for-purpose before being rolled out nationally next year.

We’re proud to be part of this innovative and much-needed test service and hope that it will start the journey towards real behaviour change for the perpetrators of family violence – and the families affected by it.

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