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Women's Refuge 'encouraged' by govt plan to house family violence perpetrators

Newstalk ZB staff ,
Publish Date
Wed, 17 Aug 2016, 6:06AM
(NZ Herald).

Women's Refuge 'encouraged' by govt plan to house family violence perpetrators

Newstalk ZB staff ,
Publish Date
Wed, 17 Aug 2016, 6:06AM

Women's Refuge is backing a trial which will give temporary accommodation to the perpetrators of domestic violence.

LISTEN ABOVE: Jane Drumm from SHINE spoke to Rachel Smalley

The Government has announced it will fund the $500,000 trial in Christchurch and Waikato over the next two years.

READ MORE: Emergency housing to be provided for family violence offenders 

Justice Minister Amy Adams said the scheme is a stepping stone to solve the country's greater family violence issue.

"But of course you've got to prove the case first, so we've started it in Christchurch, we're extending it to Waikato because Waikato has a very different demographic, and we think that will give us a very good indication of how it will work nationwide."

Womens Refuge's Rhonda Cox-Nissen said they are absolutely in support of the idea.

She said it's beneficial because women and children don't have to be removed from their home.

"There's already enough trauma involved for children living in domestic violence, and if we can keep them safe in their homes, that's an optimum for us."

Ms Cox-Nissen said it's important for the support work these trials offer to be done, in order to successfully get families back together.

She said they have been trying to do something similar since 2008.

"Unfortunately the men haven't been able to gain any funding to be able to develop or provide a service like that, so we're really encourage and excited this is going ahead."

Julie McCloy, Marketing and Funding Manager for AVIVA, a family violence support group, said the plan is a good step forward.

"By intervening at that point of crisis, it can actually prevent any further escalation," she said.

Ms McCloy said she found from research many men aren't monsters - they want help.

"They don't want to be in this situation, so by offering them the opportunity to be supported, that's a significant opportunity there."

Police advice for people in family violence situations

- In an emergency dial 111 and ask for the Police.

- If you or anyone you know is a victim of violence, talk to police or someone who can help.

- If you are concerned about your safety, you (or family or friends) can request information relating to the violence history of a new partner through the Family Violence Information Disclosure Scheme




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