These resources were compiled to support the government's engagement around the development of a National Strategy and Action Plans. The strategy, Te Aorerekura, was launched in December 2021. This page lists reports, research and other resources that provide an overview of key issues and perspectives around family violence and sexual violence.
On this page:
- Examples of existing frameworks, strategies and campaigns for violence prevention
- Information about the prevalence of family, whānau and sexual violence
- Information about the impacts of violence on communities
- Understanding the drivers of violence
- International reports and research
Examples of existing frameworks, strategies and campaigns for violence prevention
Engagement on the National Strategy was developed with the support and advice of an Interim Te Rōpū made up of tangata whenua leaders. The Interim Te Rōpū developed and published a report Te Hau Tangata: the sacred breath of humanity as a strategy with a Te Aō Māori perspective, to be shared with everyone.
Te Rito: New Zealand Family Violence Prevention Strategy (2002) was the Government's official response to, and framework for implementing, the family violence prevention plan of action released in September 2001. It reinforced a plan of action, the Government's dedication to addressing all forms and degrees of violence, and the Government's commitment to a number of international conventions specifically relevant to violence in families/ whānau.
The Te Rito strategy informed the development of the Taskforce for Action on Family Violence and the Campaign for Action on Family Violence (‘It's not OK' Campaign), an initiative that aims to change how New Zealanders' think about and act towards family violence.
Following a review of the campaign undertaken over 2017 – 2018, a new five-year strategy, Campaign for Action on Family Violence: Framework for change 2019 - 2023, has been developed. This includes an outline, supporting rationale and proposed approach for a new campaign directed at young people and adolescents to promote healthy and safe relationships.
Tū Pono: Te Mana Kaha o te Whānau (2017) is focused on enabling a stronger Māori response to family violence, by asserting the whānau voice as fundamental to reducing and eliminating harm. It was developed by the South Island Whānau Ora commissioning agency, Te Pūtahitanga o te Waipounamu, following a series of regional hui with whānau. According to Tā Mark Solomon, “the discussions were centred on promoting whānau empowerment and action as a platform for change via partnerships between whānau, hapū and iwi, kaupapa Māori providers and Whānau Ora Navigators”.
The paper Every 4 Minutes: A discussion paper on preventing family violence in New Zealand, was presented by Dr Ian Lambie, Chief Science Advisor to the Justice sector in 2018. The paper takes the position that family violence is a "solvable problem" which "can and must be stopped." The report notes the significant involvement of family violence in the child protection and criminal justice systems.
The working together to achieve whānau wellbeing in Waitematā project (2016) explored how to increase community-led primary prevention of family and sexual violence. This project used a co-design approach that involved community members, members of the family and sexual violence sector and people from the community sector, local council and central government. It took a strengths-based approach and specifically focused on the factors that protect against violence.
Information about the prevalence of family, whānau and sexual violence
Population-based studies for measuring the prevalence of violence are the “gold-standard” in the field and the best way to find out what is really going on in the community. This is because population-based studies are not dependent on people reporting to other agencies (e.g., Police, Refuge), and having the cases recorded. The 2003 NZ Violence Against Women Study was the first study to provide statistics on the prevalence of violence against women in NZ. The statistic that 1 in 3 NZ women have experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime comes from this study, and has become one of the most widely cited statistics used in the country.
Further population-based research was carried out through the 2019 New Zealand Family Violence Study. New research from this study is available that explores the history of sexual abuse trends in New Zealand and changes in rates of intimate partner violence.
Information about the impacts of violence on communities
The report, E Tū Wāhine, E Tū Whānau: Wāhine Māori keeping safe in unsafe relationships (2019) affirms the need for new thinking and strategies that better support Māori women living with violence. The study, led by Professor Denise Wilson, finds that negative judgment and attitudes, racism and discrimination often prevent wāhine Māori from accessing services and further entrap wāhine in violent relationships.
The report from the Backbone Collective, Victim-Survivor Perspectives on Longer-Term Support After Experiencing Violence and Abuse (2020), reports on the types of long-term support needed to help victim-survivors get safe, recover and rebuild their lives after experiencing violence and abuse. It was commissioned by the Ministry of Social Development to inform the Whānau Resilience work programme.
The Family Violence Death Review Committee (FVDRC) is an independent committee that reviews and advises the Health Quality & Safety Commission on how to reduce the number of family violence deaths. They produce annual reports that highlight the systemic and structural failings that have contributed to family violence deaths.
Established in 2007, the Taskforce for Action on Sexual Violence (the Taskforce) was asked to identify the actions required to better prevent and respond to sexual violence in Aotearoa New Zealand and where investment could be best made. The Taskforce comprised 10 government chief executives and four representatives from Te Ohaakii a Hine National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together (TOAH-NNEST).
Te Toiora Mata Tauherenga: report of the Taskforce for Action on Sexual Violence: Incorporating the views of Te Ohaakii a Hine-National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together (2010) completes the work of the Taskforce and includes 71 recommendations to government to prevent and respond to sexual violence.
Understanding the drivers of violence
Puao-te-ata-tu: The report of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on a Māori Perspective for the Department of Social Welfare (1988) remains a foundational report for understanding the ways in which state institutions fail to account for the needs and preferences of Māori. It found that institutional racism permeated all state institutions and that state policy was largely monocultural.
In 2020 the National Council of Women of New Zealand published results from the second survey of gender attitudes in Aotearoa New Zealand. The survey asks New Zealanders about their attitudes around gender roles at home, at school, at work and in the community. It is designed to be a nationally representative sample of the New Zealand adult population. More than 1200 people completed this second Gender Equal NZ Gender Attitudes Survey which was carried out online in 2019. The report compares results to the first survey (conducted in 2017) to see if attitudes have changed.
Auckland Coalition for the Safety of Women and Children have produced a report, A Way Through The Thicket: Why understanding gender and colonisation is key to eliminating family violence in Aotearoa New Zealand (2020). The report is designed to inform the development of the national strategy and action plan for the Joint Venture leading the Government's work on family violence and sexual violence. While the paper focusses on family violence (which includes sexual abuse and sexual assault perpetrated by a family member or ex/partner), many of its points also pertain to non-family sexual violence.
International reports and research
UN Women has published The Big conversation: Handbook to address violence against women in and through the media (2019). The Handbook provides guidance to the United Nations and others working with media organisations to advance gender equality and prevent violence against women and girls. It includes guidance on (1) strengthening the enabling environment; (2) promoting positive institutional approaches; and (3) engaging with media for changing social norms.
UN Women's Programme guidance includes a section on how to Develop multi-sectoral national action plans (2019) and why they are important. National action plans are both a way of coordinating the national response and supporting local coordination efforts.
The Multicultural Centre for Women's Health, based in Australia, developed a guide to support people and organisations working on violence prevention with immigrant and refugee communities, Intersectionality Matters: Guide to engaging immigrant and refugee communities to prevent violence against women (2017). The guide addresses how gender intersects with other forms of inequality, what is intersectionality, developing a more complex understanding of culture, myths about culture and violence, and questioning racialised representations of violence. The second part of the guide outlines the essential ingredients of meaningful violence prevention initiatives in immigrant and refugee communities.
Free from violence: Victoria's strategy to prevent family violence and all forms of violence against women (2016) is is a key part of the 10-year plan "Ending family violence: Victoria’s plan for change". The focus of the strategy is on preventing two different but overlapping and related forms of violence: family violence and violence against women. This Strategy includes a particular focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanderpeople, who experience significantly higher levels of family violence, especially women and children.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States provides Preventing multiple forms of violence: A strategic vision for connecting the dots (2016) to understand and address the interconnection among multiple forms of violence, and has developed technical packages for violence prevention including child abuse and neglect, intimate partner violence and sexual violence, to provide communities with the best available evidence to prevent violence.
For more international resources addressing violence against women including updates on other countries’ national plans see our previous news story highlighting resources and national action plans addressing violence against women.