September 07, 2020
Joined up family violence push proves effective
A community-wide approach to keeping victims and children safe from family harm has proved so effective, it has been expanded to cover the whole of Canterbury.
Integrated Safety Response has been trialled in rural Canterbury, Christchurch City and Waikato since 2016.
It brings specialist family violence services from mainstream and kaupapa Māori providers together with staff from government agencies.
Canterbury director Leanne McSkimming says the number of children witnessing or being exposed to family violence was almost halved during the trial.
By working together with the various agencies can get a much clearer picture of family harm for the victims, the perpetrators and the whānau, quickly assess risk and co-ordinate responses to help keep whānau free from violence.
Governance group chair and Ngāi Tahu representative Robyn Wallace says making whānau and families safe in the initial period after a violent event and then ensuring they have further support in place is the way to reduce and prevent family harm.
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