News

Breaking the cycle of family violence

07 December 2016

ACC joins with Gandhi Nivas and New Zealand Police to provide an environment that intervenes early to help perpetrators of family violence to examine the consequences of their actions.

Emma Powell, ACC’s Head of Injury Prevention, Partnerships and Delivery, says this presents a wonderful opportunity to be involved at the “coal face” of family violence to reduce the incidence of violence in the home.

“The focus of this initiative is to break the cycle of family violence by providing a place where men who have been served a Police Safety Order (PSO) can be accommodated and receive counselling and support,” says Ms Powell.

Perpetrators of family violence are admitted to Gandhi Nivas on referral by Police following the issuing of a PSO. This enables the victim to stay in their own home.

“This process places the victim first. Previously it was the victims who had to move away from the family home. Now, Gandhi Nivas provides early intervention and prevention services to those at risk of committing family violence, whilst ensuring safety for the families.”

ACC’s involvement with Gandhi Nivas aligns with the suite of injury prevention initiatives to reduce the incidence of injury and harm from family and inter-personal violence. It is also in line with ACC’s role as coordinator of the Government‘s response to sexual violence prevention activity.

ACC will be investing $1.3 million over the next three years to assist with the provision of counselling expertise needed to help perpetrators examine the consequences of their actions, challenge them to accept responsibility and help them to change their behaviour.

“We have to change what we call the social norms that prevail among people who have come to accept violence in order to shift attitudes and behaviours to better support safe, healthy relationships. ACC’s support of Gandhi Nivas will help make that change happen.”

Gandhi Nivas was set up to cater originally for the South Asian Community, but is now providing counselling and support for all ethnicities. Over 65% of those using the services are not South Asian.

In the 2014/15 financial year ACC paid over $47 million on more than 23,000 assault related claims, an increase of 3% on the previous year. The scene of the ‘accident’ was recorded as being the home for over 9,000 assault related claims.

The economic cost associated with family violence is estimated to be between $4.1 and $7 billion per year, and rising.

END