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  • Writer's pictureBraden Clark

An ongoing duty to care - He tauwhiro haere te mahi: 8th Family Violence Death Review Committee Report

Cover of Family Violence Death Review report

As always, our family violence death review panels and experts are exploring various aspects of family violence homicide to ascertain patterns and mitigation responses. The eighth Family Violence Death Review Report was published in February 2023. The report highlights a lack of ongoing after-care for tamariki and whānau affected by a family violence homicide. The report notes, "some surviving children were made homeless, while others struggled with drug and alcohol problems. Some participants spoke clearly about difficulties in establishing safe and stable support structures."

The report proposed some solutions which included:

  • Ongoing targeted support to support tamariki to overcome their experiences of trauma.

  • Ensuring effective universal services to capture any support needs that are not identified as part of targeted support.

  • Reviewing the eligibility criteria of current support systems and extending the time of timebound support.

  • Empowering social service providers to develop holistic support services that respond to survivors.

  • Implementing a public health model to respond to family violence.

The Committee proposed an ideal solution for an after-care system:

  • A system which identifies surviving whānau members from a family violence homicide.

  • A professional ally with specialist skills and experience who can act as a 'super-advocate' for the surviving whānau members.

  • A whole child/whole whānau approach supported by the professional ally.

  • A tailored approach that is whānau-led and responds to what they need.

The report also includes recommendations for practice guidance. See the report for these recommendations.

ECLIPSE fully supports the report's recommendations and calls on these to be implemented by the Government. We need to do better by our tamariki who have lost a loved one due to family violence. They not only lived with the experiences of family violence, but they experience ongoing grief and loss as the result of a loved one. We need to end the cycle of family violence and support the healing journeys for all.

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