News that the Rotorua Violence Prevention Service which offers counseling for violent men is closing because it can’t pay its bills is proof that efforts to tackle family violence are misdirected and under-resourced.
“If the demand is there, it should be met if we are serious about tackling the cause of family violence,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “Despite spending $14m on the ‘It’s Not OK’ campaign, it appears there is insufficient funding to meet the demand created by the heightened awareness of the problem.”
Family First has consistently promoted a 5-point action plan at www.stoptheabuse.org.nz to tackle the issue of child abuse and family violence.
“Part of the solution is not only to highlight the problem through media campaigns and identification of the actual causes of family violence, but to resource and empower community based organisations and networks who are working directly with these at-risk families and individuals on an ongoing basis.”
“As poverty can be a contributing factor in abusive environments, it is also likely that the most at-risk and vulnerable will be unable to afford the charges that community organisations need to charge to maintain their services.”
“Because of the costs of family violence and family breakdown, there needs to be targeted assistance to community organisations who are delivering the services that local families are crying out for. Prevention is worth the investment.”
“It is essential that government investment to tackle family violence actually funds results – not more talk, bureaucracy or reports. The community is crying out for action on this issue,” says Mr McCoskrie.