Changing the way we respond to Family Harm to help New Zealanders when they need it

Changing the way we respond to Family Harm to help New Zealanders when they need it

Mike Bush, Police Commissioner

Family Harm continues to remain a significant issue for far too many New Zealanders. 

Family Harm is a term Police use to capture a broader, more holistic view of the issues occurring within families and their ensuing detrimental effects. It acknowledges the harm caused by the environment and destructive behaviours which often have long-term damaging consequences for families. It also acknowledges that violence is just one subset of the harm experienced by some families.

Our mission to be the Safest Country includes doing things differently to improve our response to family harm so we can help and support people when they need it.

I’m very pleased to announce that our new approach to Family Harm went live in the early hours of yesterday.

We’ve made these changes because we want to deliver a better service to people experiencing family harm. We believe these changes will make a real and tangible difference for victims and will also help partner agencies and NGOs who involved in providing family harm services.

When staff now attend a Family Harm investigation they’ll do so with “eyes wide open”.  This is about all about understanding the wider dynamics of family harm – the patterns of harm and the adverse circumstances in which they occur.  This new approach will help us make the best decisions when responding to family harm and ensure we get better outcomes for the people involved.

To support the new approach our staff have been given new training, technology and a range of tools to ensure they can carry out high quality family harm investigations each and every time we get a call for service.

Equally, the approach will provide better quality information to partner agencies and NGOs who are involved in providing family harm services for victims and perpetrators.

I encourage anyone who fears for their own, or someone else’s safety to dial 111. Do not ignore family violence, you could save a life.

 

Ngā mihi

Mike Bush, MNZM

Commissioner


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