New Zealand unveils 25-year plan to combat domestic violence
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New Zealand unveils 25-year plan to combat domestic violence

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Marama Davidson Tuesday launched a 25-year plan to tackle domestic and family violence in New Zealand homes.

This is the country’s first national strategy for eliminating family violence and sexual violence. It is known as “Te Aorerekura” and it involves 10 agencies working together.

Davidson said that the government’s vision is to create peaceful homes where children, families and extended family thrive. The government also aims to create safe communities where all people are respected, and to support the well-being of the nation. The new plan represents an evolution in the journey to address violence in homes and in communities.

Davidson further stated that significant public engagement was undertaken across the country. The majority opinion was that the sectors and communities must be supported to lead and develop new ways of working. The cabinet agreed to establish a Tangata Whenua Advisory Group that will provide independent advice and guidance to Davidson on family violence and sexual violence.

The government expects over time that the proposed changes will ensure no further harm is done to victims by the justice system. Safe and tailored services will be available for ethnic communities, LGBTQI communities, older people, male survivors and disabled communities. Women and trans women affected by domestic violence and family violence can access integrated, trauma-informed and inclusive responses that would provide protection and support well-being.

Additionally, an understanding of healthy relationships and how to seek help will be key for children and young adults to make informed decisions and have access to tailored services. On the other hand, those who perpetrate violence would be held accountable and supported to address and overcome past trauma.

The government currently spends $1.5 billion to $2 billion annually on the consequences of family violence and sexual violence. Chief victims advisor Kim McGregor said the victims of family and sexual violence and their advocates had been asking for a comprehensive overhaul of the system for about 30 years.