Family violence and sexual violence

We fund family violence intervention coordinator positions in all district health boards (DHBs), audit DHB performance, support related research and evaluation, and offer technical advice and training support to health services committed to the programme.

If you are in immediate danger, dial 111 and ask for Police

If you would like to contact the police about an abuser but not urgently you can call 105 or visit your local police station. An officer will talk to you about your options.

If you do not want to speak directly to the police, contact the organisation Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or use the secure online form. This is completely anonymous.

What is family violence?

Family violence is a pattern of behaviour that coerces, controls or harms within the context of a close personal relationship (FVDRC 2016).

Family violence can be physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, spiritual, or financial. Family violence often involves fear, intimidation, isolation and loss of freedoms, and includes tamariki being exposed to violence between adults or subject to abuse or neglect themselves.

For older people, disabled people, children, or people dependent on others, family violence can also include not providing care, or preventing access to medicines or other care required.

There are also distinctive cultural forms of abuse directed at women, such as dowry-related violence, forced and under-age marriage, and female genital mutilation.

What is sexual violence?

Sexual Violence (also known as mahi tūkino, sexual abuse, sexual assault, or sexual harm) is any sexual behaviour towards another person who does not freely give consent.

Sexual violence can occur in relationships and marriage. It can involve force, coercion and power used by one person (or people) over another (TOAHNEST Tauiwi caucus 2021).

Child sexual abuse includes any exposure to a child under 16 to sexual acts or sexual material.

The Ministry’s existing work programme to address family violence and sexual violence includes:

  • funding for DHBs to participate in integrated community responses
  • operating the Child Protection Alert System (CPAS)
  • extending Violence Intervention Programme to primary health care providers (including GPs, nurses, dental nurses)
  • guiding information health professionals to support decision-making for information sharing, complementing guidance published respectively by the Ministry of Justice and Oranga Tamariki
  • providing specialist services for people who experience non-fatal strangulation
  • funding of several health-related primary prevention initiatives.
 

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