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Violence prevention

We're working to make sure children and young people are safe from family and sexual violence and flourish in Aotearoa New Zealand.

On this page

    We all have a role to play in preventing violence and harm from happening in the first place. This involves addressing long-term root causes of intergenerational harm through greater scale and cohesion of activities. We do this with partners in the Joint Venture on Family Violence and Sexual Violence.

    More about Joint Venture

    Sexual violence is a significant problem within Aotearoa New Zealand. At least 25% of women and 9% of men experience sexual violence during their lifetime, much of which starts during childhood. Typically, there's a long period between experiencing this type of violence and seeking help. Research suggests that in females it's up to 16 years, and in males, it's up to 23 years on average.

    Those who experience or witness any form of violence as children are more likely to be a victim again or abuse others as adults.

    Our focus is on primary prevention – that's preventing violence and harm from happening. There's significant evidence that investing earlier in the key developmental life stages of children and young people can have a long-term impact on children, whānau, communities, society and the ACC scheme.  

    Focus on children and young people

    New Zealand is the sixth-worst of 29 OECD countries when it comes to intentional harm of children and the third-worst in OECD for unintentional harm.

    Young people are statistically at the highest risk of being sexually assaulted.

    Children and young people feature prominently in violence statistics and often have limited power to seek help and create change. Focusing on children and young people is our opportunity to break the intergenerational cycle of harm and abuse.

    By building protective factors that support the healthy development of children and young people, we help young people transition into healthy adults.  

    Social change isn't going to happen overnight, but it can happen if we work together. 

    Prevention programmes we support

    The Mates & Dates programme

    Mates & Dates is a programme for secondary school students. It teaches young people healthy relationship skills and behaviours to help prevent sexual and dating violence. Since the start of the programme in 2014, 84% of students said it has improved their understanding of consent. And 77% said the course helped them understand more about healthy relationships.

    Video transcription for mates and dates

    Contact us if you'd like to find out more about the programme:


    Mates & Dates

    Supporting Pasifika communities

    Le Va’s solution is to provide New Zealand’s first national Pasifika Spearhead service. It's focused on the primary prevention of family violence, sexual violence and suicidal behaviour for young people.

    The name of the programme is Atu-Mai. It's a community-based violence prevention programme designed to support Pasifika young people to experience safe, healthy and respectful relationships in the context of family and community.

    Atu-Mai aims to equip Pasifika young people and their families with the right knowledge, information, education, resources and tools to prevent violence from happening in the first place.

    More about Atu-Mai

    Support for people who've experienced sexual violence

    We've created a fully funded and immediate service for people who've experienced sexual violence. There's also help available for their family and whānau.

    Find Support website

    Building awareness in the community

    We're working in the community to increase knowledge, awareness and skills around sexual violence prevention.

    Making a difference: Sexual violence primary prevention toolkit


    Last published: 7 April 2021