Mixed reaction to new cross-Government family and sexual violence prevention plan

  • 29/09/2018

It's feared the Government's new joint venture to resolve family and sexual violence will leave survivors out.

Chief executives from 10 Government departments will work together, informed by a Māori advisory group and "other stakeholders" to develop a plan.

"We have to stop splitting this issue up into half a dozen unconnected silos. Family and sexual violence are complicated, affect every part of our community and demand a coordinated, committed response," said Jan Logie, Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice (Domestic and Sexual Violence Issues).

Domestic violence charity Shine said it was delighted to hear about the new plan.

"This Government initiative shows the greatest promise of creating meaningful change in terms of an effective, system-wide response to domestic violence that prioritises safety and wellbeing for adult and child victims, and which holds perpetrators accountable while motivating and supporting them to change their behaviour," Shine general manager Jane Drumm said.

"It's positive that consultation and collaboration with Maori is a critical component of how this joint venture will operate, especially since Maori are disproportionately affected by family violence."

But Fiona McNamara from Sexual Abuse Prevention Network told Newshub while the executives group was long overdue, violence outside of a relationship can end up being neglected.

"It's important to look at all the different kinds of sexual violence - that includes peer-to-peer abuse and abuse within workplaces, including sexual harassment."

Deborah Mackenzie from Backbone Collective said the Government should listen to survivors before setting new plans up.

"No matter how hard police and refuge might be working, the Family Court is undoing all of that," she said.

The board of the joint venture is made up of chief executives from:

  • Oranga Tamariki
  • Ministry of Health
  • Te Puni Kōkiri
  • Ministry of Social Development
  • Ministry of Education
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Police
  • ACC
  • Corrections
  • and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.