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Family Violence Screening
Family violence is common in New Zealand. Family violence has a major impact on child health outcomes. Studies have shown child abuse and partner abuse co-occur in 30–60% of families.
Health service screening to identify family violence has been shown to be highly acceptable to patients, to increase help seeking behaviour and to reduce medium term experience of violence.
The recent update to the Well Child Framework places an increased focus on the identification and management of family violence and child abuse and neglect within the WellChild/Tamariki Ora programme. This will be a component of the needs assessment and care-planning process. The programme is based on the Ministry of Health’s Family Violence Intervention Guidelines: Child and partner abuse.
What is Family violence
Family violence is more than physical abuse; it includes sexual or psychological abuse. Psychological or emotional abuse includes threats, intimidation, harassment or damage to property. The effects of psychological abuse last the longest.
In law family violence is known as domestic violence. In the Domestic Violence Act 1995 it is defined as
"violence against (a) person by any other person with whom that person is, or has been in a domestic relationship".
For information about the law see Family Court of New Zealand, click on What the Family Court Does and then Domestic Violence.
Where to go for Help
- If you are concerned about a child's situation, call Child, Youth and Family on 0508 FAMILY (0508 326 459).
· The 0800 Family Violence Information Line (0800 456 450) provides self-help information and connects people to services where appropriate. It is available seven days a week, from 9am to 11pm, with an after-hours message redirecting callers in the case of an emergency
· Shine national helpline: 0508-DVHELP (0508 384357). The helpline operates 7:30am -11:00pm every day.
· Each DHB has a family violence coordinator funded by the Ministry of Health
· The Ministry of Health website http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/preventative-health-wellness/family-violence includes the guidelines on family violence screening, cue cards and flow charts for intervention, plus links to additional resources.
· Family Violence - It's not OK
The Campaign for Action on Family Violence Campaign is led by the Ministry of Social Development and the Families Commission, in association with communities. It is supported by ACC (Accident Compensation
The website has many useful resources about family violence, what it is and where to get help.
Family Violence Information Line: 0800 456 450
Child, Youth and Family is part of the Ministry of Social Development. It aims to build an environment where child abuse is not tolerated. CYFS has statutory responsibility for investigating concerns about child abuse. Contact Child, Youth and Family on 0508 FAMILY (0508 326 459).
· National Collective of Independent Women's Refuges (www.womensrefuge.org.nz)
Women's Refuge is a collective of services run by women for women and children and provides support and information for dealing with family violence. Their website has information about safety planning including :
· a plan for leaving
· a plan for after you’ve left
· a plan for staying
· National Network of Stopping Violence Services (www.nnsvs.org.nz)
The National Network of Stopping Violence Services (NZ) Inc is a network of 42 independent community based organisations working to enable all people in Aotearoa/New Zealand to live free of all forms of violence, abuse and oppression.
Shine (previously known as Preventing Violence in the Home) provides a range of services (not all are national), including a comprehensive web site on family violence. Although the organisation is Auckland based, the information on the website is nationally relevant. The organisation provides a national helpline: 0508-DVHELP (0508 384357). The helpline operates 7:30am -11:00pm every day.
· Jigsaw: http://www.jigsaw.org.nz/ is a network of 42 organisations working to stop child abuse, neglect and family violence in communities.