Reducing family & sexual violence

Family violence and sexual violence have a devastating impact on people and communities across the country.

Each year, New Zealand Police conduct more than 100,000 family violence investigations. Nearly half of all homicides and reported violent crimes are family violence related. It is estimated that one in four females and one in eight males experience sexual violence or abuse in their lifetimes, many before the age of 16.

What is family violence and sexual violence?

Family violence is physical, sexual or psychological abuse against any person by someone with whom they have a close and personal relationship. Psychological abuse includes economic and financial abuse, threats of violence, property damage and causing children to witness violence.

Family violence includes intimate partner violence; child abuse and neglect by a family member; elder abuse and neglect by a family member; and abuse of a family member with disabilities.

Sexual violence affects people of every age and gender. It can range from sexual coercion and intimidation to physical offences such as indecent assault and rape.

Cross-government leadership

The Ministry of Justice is part of the cross-government joint venture leading an integrated, whole-of-government approach to family violence and sexual violence. This work aims to ensure victims are safe, services are responsive, and we prevent and reduce violence through changing behaviours and attitudes.

Find out more about the Family Violence and Sexual Violence Work Programme

The Ministry’s contribution to reducing family violence focuses on four areas:

  • Better supporting and protecting of victims of family violence
  • Improving victims’ experience of the justice system
  • Supporting judicial decision making in cases involving family violence
  • Ensuring family violence legislation is modern and fit for purpose.

For information about initiatives in these areas, see:

Find out more about the Family Violence and Sexual Violence Work Programme

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Help & advice

If you or someone you know needs information about how and where to get help, visit the following websites:

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