New year, new strategy, new results?

New year, new strategy, new results?

In December 2021, the Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence and Sexual Violence – Marama Davidson launched Aotearoa’s first ever Nation Strategy for the Elimination of Family Violence and Sexual Violence – Te Aorerekura.
The strategy is to address two of our nation’s greatest shames and aims to eliminate family and sexual violence within a generation, by drawing on Māori knowledge to create widespread societal change.
Historically, the focus on family violence in New Zealand has always been a reactive one. Millions of dollars dumped at the bottom of the cliff caring for and supporting victims after the fact. There definitely still needs to be a responsive approach as many people are suffering trauma right now. However, this strategy highlights the need to rebalance the country’s efforts towards preventing violence, creating accountability and helping people heal. The focus on prevention is a new strategy, and will attempt to climb the cliff and stop the violence before it even happens.
The strategy was built with input from ten ministries that make up the Joint Venture on family and sexual violence, the sector, survivors, perpetrators, communities and tangata whenua.
Te Aorerekura outlines 6 key changes or ‘shifts’ to eliminate family violence and sexual violence in Aoteroa New Zealand. These are specific actions government agencies and communities will carry out to achieve these shifts.

Shift 1: Towards strength-based wellbeing

Shift 2: Towards mobilising communities

Shift 3: Towards skilled, culturally competent and sustainable workforces

Shift 4: Towards investment in primary prevention to protect against family violence and sexual violence

Shift 5: Towards safe, accessible integrated responses

Shift 6: Towards increased capacity for healing

On one hand, a generation (25 years) feels like an eternity to make the changes we need for issues that are happening right now. On the other hand, it’s only a very small timeframe given the fact that family violence and sexual violence is ingrained in our society several generations deep.

It will be very interesting how Te Aorerekura is implemented in the immediate future. Challenging times ahead, but at the same time there’s exciting opportunities for change. For a comprehensive read of the strategy, you can access it via the link – https://violencefree.govt.nz/national-strategy/