New Zealand Law Society - Budget boost for family and sexual violence initiatives

Budget boost for family and sexual violence initiatives

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The 2020 Budget includes significant support to stabilise New Zealand’s family violence services.

Jan Logie, Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice (Domestic and Sexual Violence Issues), and Associate Minister for Social Development, Poto Williams, jointly announced the initiatives, which include investment of $203 million over four years on services for victims and perpetrators of family violence, and a cross-government initiative to enable specialist responses to non-fatal strangulation.

These initiatives include $183 million over four years to ensure continued access to specialist family violence services, providing support for victims of family violence ($142 million), services to help perpetrators to stop inflicting family violence ($16 million), and support for victims of elder abuse ($25 million).$19.9 million will go to a cross-agency initiative with Police, Justice and Health to ensure victims of non-fatal strangulation can access highly trained medical practitioners and the forensic services necessary to gather the robust evidence required to prosecute offenders.

The initiatives bring significant support to stabilising New Zealand’s family violence sector, whose work has been shown to be so essential throughout the COVID-19 lockdown.

“Refuges, helplines, crisis services and many other organisations sit at the heart of our response to families who are experiencing violence,” says Ms Logie.

“At a time of national crisis we have never needed them more. We know this crisis has increased pressure to New Zealand families and that more victims are isolated. It’s right that we respond properly to this. As a Government we have committed to end this violence.”

“What this means in real terms is better support for those experiencing abuse, whilst empowering people who use violence to change their behaviour. It will save lives and mean we are a safer, healthier New Zealand.”

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