IN AOTEAROA, NEW ZEALAND
Although it is difficult to measure full extent of family violence in New Zealand, it is acknowledged internationally that New Zealand has the highest rate of family violence in the developed world.
Police attended over 120,000 incidents in 2020, but it is widely speculated that only approximately 27% of family violence incidents are reported to Police, therefore approximately 73% of family violence incidents are NOT reported to Police.
Based on these indicators, over 500,000 episodes of family violence occur in New Zealand every year.
Although there are other reporting avenues, such as hospitals, refuges etc, the actual collective picture of family violence victimisation and perpetration is largely still an unknown. In the last five years, New Zealand has substantially increased its responsivity to family violence with the development of the national Whāngaia Ngā Pā Harakeke and Integrated Safety Response systems. All family violence episodes that are reported to Police, receive a robust collective and multi-organisational response. Family violence is our national shame, and alongside the human suffering that is endured, it comes at exponential social and economic cost. In Aotearoa, NZ, the financial cost is between 4 and 7 billion dollars annually.
In Aotearoa, New Zealand, an acknowledged definition of family violence is provided by the Te Rito: New Zealand Family Violence strategy.
“Family violence covers a broad range of controlling behaviours, commonly of a physical, sexual, and/or psychological nature which typically involve fear, intimidation and emotional deprivation. It occurs within a variety of close interpersonal relationships, such as between partners, parents and children, siblings, and in other relationships where significant others are not part of the
physical household but are part of the family and/or are fulfilling the function of family”.
Family violence crosses all aspects of family relationship, and is categorised through two primary categories, that of intimate partner violence, and interfamilial violence.
Intimate partner violence is violence that occurs in the context of an intimate relationship/partnership/marriage/de facto and includes both past or present connection.
Interfamilial violence covers all other aspects of family relationship, sibling/whāngai/aunties/uncles/step relationships/parent-child/ etc.
OUR NATIONAL STRATEGY
THE JOINT VENTURE BUSINESS UNIT (JVBU) AND INTEGRATED COMMUNITY RESPONSE
The Joint Venture Business Unit (JVBU) for Family Violence and Sexual Violence (FVSV) Response, is a collaboration of at least 10 government agencies who have joined together, in response to recognised need, to develop a nationally integrated cross government way of working.
The JVBU is a welcome partnership with iwi and with community organisations, to ensure the voices of those most impacted by family and sexual violence are in the midst of any decision-making processes.
The JVBU are working to create and support a more professionalised and specialist Family Violence and Sexual Violence workforce in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
In line with this, they have recently published the Specialist Family Violence Organisational Standards (SOS) and Entry to Expert Capability Framework (E2E) and are working within the MSD Integrated Community Response system, which works with the JVBU and community to support integrated models of practice.
Relevant links can be located on the Resources/Links page