The Joint Venture is about system change, and is now approaching its first three years since it was established in September 2018. Much of what it has done has been about laying the foundations for the work in the years to come that will truly be about transforming the family violence and sexual violence system.

It is about using the Joint Venture agencies – to work together to transform the system.

The following are some of the key workstreams underway to lay those foundations for long-term, sustainable system transformation:

National Strategy and Action Plans

Work is underway on developing a National Strategy and Action Plans as a ‘road map’ for the future direction of the work that will need to be done, to reduce and ultimately eliminate family violence and sexual violence.

The Strategy is being developed by engaging with Tangata Whenua and a wide range of communities, building on conversations with governments over many years on what is needed to eliminate family violence and sexual violence. 

The Korero Mai page has more information on the National Strategy and Action Plans engagement.

Integrated Community Responses

The Joint Venture’s work on Integrated Community Responses (ICR) is a critical workstream at the heart of the joint venture model. It is about shifting from government-led solutions to enabling community-led solutions. It is an approach to integrating existing services and building on existing structures and processes that work. It is about ensuring that communities can lead efforts to prevent and address family violence.

Data, Intelligence and Insights for FVSV

The Joint Venture agencies are working together to draw on data and other information from across the sector to develop future best possible intelligence and insights to better inform FVSV system performance, direct the system response, and enable a learning system that adapts and improves, as it goes along.

New Zealand’s experience with COVID-19 reinforced the need for a system-wide view of FVSV to enable the most effective government and sector response. The reality is that a wide range of social and economic circumstances directly impact on the risk factors of FVSV, emphasising the critical role for data, intelligence and collective insights to make sense of it all and to guide the best way forward.

Violence Prevention Needs for Diverse Communities

In Budget 2019, the Government committed $2 million in funding over two years to enable understanding of violence prevention needs and development of future violence prevention programmes in new migrant, rainbow, disabled and older people communities. This is a project aimed at understanding how violence impacts on these communities and in their context, their needs and aspirations, and supporting them to determine the services and support that they need to prevent and respond to FVSV.

FVSV Workforce and Organisational Capability

This workstream is about supporting the sector in building the collective FVSV workforce’s capacity and capability – in specialist FV and SV services, in front-line government services and in non-government service providers. The aim is to build a workforce across the FVSV system that can safely, competently and effectively respond to those who experience and those who use family violence and sexual violence.

It’s about building the community’s protectiveness of victims of FVSV. It is also focused on the needs of the sector practitioners by enabling supportive work environments that ensure practices are integrative, trauma- and violence-informed, and strengths-based.

COVID-19: A Case Study in the Value of the Joint Venture

COVID-19 brought great stress to Aotearoa New Zealand and the world in 2020 and continues to do so. However, last year with a national lockdown and later an Auckland lockdown, there was particular stress and uncertainty for everyone. Those living with family violence and sexual violence were doubly at risk.      

During the COVID-19 lockdowns, it was crucial that family violence and sexual violence services be included as essential services and remained available.

Past disasters, in New Zealand and overseas, had unequivocally proven that isolation brought increased risk of violence from a partner, family member or house-mate, and also made it harder for the victim to connect with support or access help. 

From the initial lockdown in March last year, the Joint Venture immediately collaborated with key FVSV service providers to ensure those facing violence and abuse could get the help they needed, and key to achieving this was making sure they knew where to get help. 

Key solutions the Joint Venture supported included:  

  • Silent Solution – silent 111 calls to the Police when someone is unable to speak
  • Shielded website access (also used on this website), helping the user to access family violence information websites without their visit showing up in their browser history
  • Discreet information about support lines and services being provided in pharmacies and supermarkets – some of the few places people could go during lockdown
  • National prevention media campaigns (such as the Safebubble – It’s Still Ok to Ask for Help)

The Joint Venture also ensured:   

  • Guidance and resources were delivered to Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) groups to get information directly to communities and support the Government's response
  • Essential needs packs with food and clothing for people who experience violence were provided as part of wider support through foodbanks and providers, and through CDEM groups. The Joint Venture also linked into distribution channels to supply educational resources, phones and data.
  • JV agencies were able to coordinate nationally and locally to plan and source additional emergency accommodation for survivors, and to enable women and children to remain in their homes by organising emergency accommodation for Police Safety Order respondents.
  • The later lockdown in Auckland and across New Zealand reactivated a government-sector Pandemic Working Group set up during lockdown to ensure real-time information is shared on the issues and risks of violence.    

Other key work

The JVBU also has other work underway, including input into the Mana Wāhine Kaupapa Inquiry and a continuous improvement review of the Joint Venture itself, including around its best ongoing and future structure.

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