Budget 2021’s $131.9 million family violence and sexual violence funding is across a range of initiatives to help communities prevent family violence and sexual violence from happening in the first place and help those using violence to stop.
Here’s how the funding all fits together:
The Government is committed to reducing, and ultimately eliminating, family violence and sexual violence and Budget 2021 provides the next steps in transforming the system to achieve that.
The last three Budgets have collectively put over two thirds of a billion dollars of funding into addressing family violence and sexual violence.
Before Budget 2018, which funded the establishment of the Joint Venture in September that year, the family violence and sexual violence sector had been consistently underfunded, leaving it dogged with significant service gaps that limited the system and on-the-ground responses available to really improve the lot of victims.
Addressing that required substantial investment to in effect lay the foundations for change, including increases to baseline funding.
Budget 2019 focused on sexual violence service providers, and Budget 2020 on family violence service providers. The majority of funding to date has been to stabilise those specialist services. As Dr Ang Jury, CE of Women’s Refuge said, “the funding of family violence services… will help us to meet our costs, ensure safe practice, give our specialist staff manageable caseloads, competitive salaries and remove the need for unpaid overtime.”
Find out more about Budget 2019 here(external link)
Budget 2020 also invested in services focused on children affected by violence (and their families), reflecting cross-agency advice and initiatives developed by the Joint Venture. This included a joint initiative by Police and Oranga Tamariki, funded from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. Alongside this investment in sustainability of service provision, Budgets 2018-2020 invested in:
Read more about the Budget 2020 FVSV package here(external link)
New Zealand’s high rate of family violence is not acceptable. The Government wants to make sure family violence victims are kept safe and people who use family violence are held to account.
As a result, Parliament passed two major pieces of new legislation: the Family Violence Act 2018 which repeals and replaces the Domestic Violence Act 1995 and the Family Violence (Amendments) Act 2018 which amends the Bail Act 2000, Crimes Act 1961, Sentencing Act 2002, Evidence Act 2006, Criminal Procedure Act 2011 and Care of Children Act 2004.
The Family Violence Act 2018(external link) took effect on 1 July 2019. The Act replaced the Domestic Violence Act 1995 and gives decision-makers in the family violence system better guidance about the nature and impact of family violence.
The Act enables the family violence sector to have a more consistent response to victims and those who inflict family violence. It also:
The Family Violence (Amendments) Act 2018(external link) makes changes to a number of Acts to improve responses to family violence in both the criminal and civil law. The Act:
This Bill, being taken through Parliament by Justice Minister Kris Faafoi, amends the Evidence Act 2006, Victims’ Rights Act 2002, and Criminal Procedure Act 2011 to reduce the retraumatisation victims of sexual violence may experience when they attend court and give evidence.
The Bill passed its Second Reading on 25 February 2021
The first thing it means is that no one needs to know you’ve been here because it won’t show up in your search history. And that may be important if you’re at risk from someone close to you who is violent, controlling or abusive.
Now any website can be a place of refuge. If you need help but are worried about repercussions from a controlling or abusive partner, this is a safe way to find it. The Joint Venture is proudly running a Shielded Site, as begun by NZ Women’s Refuge.
A Shielded Site allows victims of domestic violence or those who are fear they may become a victim, to access a shielded portal through which they can contact and access the support they need, find out how to make a plan to safely get out of a dangerous situation, learn how to stay safe online and get answers to questions about what to do next.
Equally, if you want more information about having a ‘shielded’ website for your business or organisation, you can find out more at www.shielded.co.nz(external link)
If you are worried about your own behaviour being abusive, help is available. You can change your behaviour. The responsibility to seek help falls on you. Seek help early.
Reach out to Hey Bro for support to seek help in managing emotions in healthy ways and make better and safer choices. 0800 HeyBro (439 276) is a helpline and website especially for men who feel they might harm a family or whānau member.
You can also find help at the National Network of Family Violence Services (external link)