December 2016

December 2016


Welcome to a regular series of updates about the cross-government family violence and sexual violence work programme. In this update you’ll find:

Programme overview

The Government is committed to reducing family violence and sexual violence and keeping victims safe. A cross-government work programme is dedicated to addressing this challenge.

The programme focuses on preventing violence, reducing the harm it causes, better supporting victims, and holding perpetrators to account and helping them change their behaviour. It brings together a wide range of government agencies including the ministries of Social Development, Justice, Health and Education, NZ Police, ACC and Department of Corrections, among others. The programme is overseen by a ministerial group, co-chaired by the ministers of Justice and Social Development – that’s why these efforts are officially referred to as the Ministerial Work Programme on Family Violence and Sexual Violence.

We’re aiming to create an effective, integrated system by working closely together with government agencies, NGOs, service providers, community providers and people who need support from the system.

We know people and organisations across the family and sexual violence sector are working hard – especially at this time of year – and are committed to addressing violence. We’ll continue to seek their input and draw on their expertise so we can collectively develop a system that works well and makes a difference.

For more information about the programme, go to:

Family violence and sexual violence work programme

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Risk Assessment and Management Framework

The Risk Assessment and Management Framework (RAMF) is a project led by the Ministry of Justice. The RAMF will support a shared understanding of family violence and its dynamics and help establish a consistent and integrated approach by agencies and services to screening, risk assessment and risk management.

Consultation feedback and next steps

During the consultation in August and September, we received substantial and really useful feedback from a wide range of family violence stakeholders. We’re very grateful for their insights on how to strengthen the framework.

There was overwhelming support for what the RAMF is trying to achieve and there’s clearly a need for it. However, based on the feedback, we also have a lot of work to do to develop a RAMF that’s fit for purpose. With this in mind, we’ll develop and implement the RAMF in 2 phases.

In phase 1, the original draft RAMF is being comprehensively reworked. It will now provide an overarching framework containing principles and expectations for organisations and individuals that work with people affected by family violence. It will include a whānau-centered kaupapa Māori approach, strong recognition of children, and practices for responding to diverse population groups (for example, different ethnic communities, refugees, LGBTI peoples). We’ll continue to refine the overarching framework into 2017, to allow more sector engagement and to ensure it aligns with other work that’s going on, especially the Workforce Capability Framework being led by the Ministry of Social Development (see below).

In phase 2, we’ll develop sector-specific practice guidance, risk assessment tools and training material. From early 2017, we’ll work with ‘early adopters’ to develop this content.  This will help ensure everyone adopts a common and widely accepted approach, with guidance and tools tailored to specific sectors. This process will also respond to consultation feedback which highlighted a need to work more collaboratively, sector-by-sector and with Māori to develop practice guidance for the RAMF. As with phase 1, we’ll closely cooperate with the Family Violence Workforce Development Project.

We’ll work on both phases concurrently, although the latter work will run for longer. How and when the RAMF will be rolled out more widely hasn’t been decided yet, but this will be informed by our ongoing work with the sector.

For more information on the feedback we received, including a summary of submissions and the consultation workshop summary report, see:

Risk assessment and management framework consultation (external link)

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Workforce Capability Framework

The draft 'Family Violence, Sexual Violence and Violence within Whānau Workforce Capability Framework' sets a vision for excellence in the family violence and sexual violence workforce.

Co-designed by a sector-led Expert Design Group, the draft framework identifies the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed for a safe and competent family violence and sexual violence workforce. It covers all people, organisations and communities that work with family and sexual violence in New Zealand.

The framework poses questions through its 6 ‘domains’ to prompt members of the workforce (at every level) to reflect on their practice and opportunities for improvement. When we initially consulted, the reflective question sections were well received by the various sectors; people told us they were a practical tool to lift capability.

Send us your feedback

We’re now consulting more widely on the draft framework. To join the conversation, go to the consultation and ‘ask to join group.’

Workforce Capability Framework consultation (external link)

The consultation is open until 7 February, 2017. If you’d rather give your feedback or ask questions in confidence, you can email

As well as considering your feedback, we’ll use insights gained from working with Integrated Safety Response sites (see below) to inform the final version of the framework.

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Paper focuses on positive change

The latest issues paper from the Family Violence Clearinghouse, ‘Responding to perpetrators of family violence,’ focuses on how New Zealand can achieve positive change with perpetrators of family violence.

One of the paper’s key findings is that integrated response systems are the best way to respond to family violence in New Zealand. According to researcher Devon Polaschek, the essential components of such systems include coordination between crisis response and immediate containment, criminal and civil court proceedings, sentences or order compliance, risk monitoring and behaviour change components, and providing services based on risk and need.

Polaschek argues these systems offer more opportunities to hold perpetrators to account and, in turn, will result in better outcomes for keeping victims safe. To read the full report see:

Responding to perpetrators of family violence (external link)

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New campaign highlights danger signs

A new 'It's not OK' campaign launched this month highlights the signs that a woman is in danger of being killed by her partner or ex-partner.

This project was developed in response to a request from the NZ Death Review Committee to increase New Zealanders’ knowledge of coercive control and the lethality indicators. These danger signs are often missed by friends and family who don’t realise the behaviour they’re seeing is serious.

New resources (including ‘Know the danger signs’ posters and brochures) are available via a dedicated section on the It’s not OK website. You can also view videos featuring real people who lost a loved one because of family violence on the It’s not OK YouTube channel.

Through this project it’s hoped that more New Zealanders will know the danger signs, know they’re serious and take action to protect people in danger.

It’s not OK website (external link)

It’s not OK You Tube channel (external link)

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Enrol now for postgraduate violence prevention course

Enrolments are now open for the University of Auckland’s Postgraduate Violence Prevention Studies 2017. The course is designed for practitioners, health promoters, researchers, policy analysts and managers to increase knowledge and understanding of intimate partner violence, child abuse and neglect, and other forms of family and whānau violence.

For more information about the course, see:

Postgraduate Violence Studies 2017 (external link)

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Stay informed

Family and Sexual Violence Work programme updates

If you know anyone who might like to subscribe to these updates, they can email

Integrated Safety Response (ISR) pilot - newsletter

The ISR is a key initiative under the work programme and ISR team produces a regular newsletter. See the December 2016 issue:

ISR newsletter December 2016 (external link)

Sexual violence service development update

Several key initiatives in the work programme are focused on reducing sexual violence and better supporting victims. The team working on these initiatives also produces a regular update. If you want to subscribe, or have any questions or feedback on these projects, please email

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Contact us

If you have any questions about the work programme or this newsletter, please email us at

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