New online tool to check relationship for abuse

Wed 24 Aug 2022

The Ministry for Social Development (MSD) has released a new online tool for people to check if they are being treated safely in their relationship.

person ticking the box for yes on a piece of paper with checklist at the top and yes or no checkboxes

MSD has launched a new online Check it out relationship tool. People can use the online tool to check if they are experiencing abuse in their relationship. It asks questions about a partner's or ex partner's behaviours in the relationship. For each question there are examples of what the behaviour might look like. Questions address different types of abuse including physical, financial, psychological, controlling behaviours and more.

The tool includes questions and examples of behaviours that are unique to those with a broad range of identities. MSD worked with a range of family violence specialists to develop the tool including Māori, Pasefika, Rainbow, disabled peoples and ethnic communities. The tool adds specific questions for people who have children, have separated from their partner, are from an ethnic community, are Pacific, are a disabled person, and/or are Takatāpui, LGBTQIA+ or Rainbow.

Depending on the person's identity there are between 15 to 42 questions. After completing the questions, the tool provides information that identifies different types of abuse the person might be experiencing and offers support services.

The new tool has replaced the Relationship Quiz which was on the Are You Ok website. Some content in the tool came from the 1 in 3 Be Free App. In 2016 the Inner City Women’s Group (ICWG) in partnership with Omnispex developed an app for New Zealand heterosexual women to screen their relationships for violence and abuse. The ICWG donated their intellectual property to help develop the Check it out tool.

MSD has been updating the Are You OK website.

In the July 2022 MSD Family Violence and Sexual Violence Service Provider Update, MSD also noted they are working on a new website for people who use violence, to encourage and support them to access support to make change. See past updates and subscribe to future updates.

Related app for people experiencing abuse and violence

The June 2022 MSD Family Violence and Sexual Violence provider update announced the launch of the Bright Sky App in Aotearoa New Zealand. MSD partnered with Te Rourou - Vodafone Foundation Group to launch the app. The Bright Sky app provides support and information for people concerned about family violence, or worried about the safety of themselves, or someone they care about. The app was first launched in the UK by the Vodafone Foundation Group in collaboration with a range of family and sexual violence service providers. It is now available in 11 countries including New Zealand.

Related media

BNZ: Don’t neglect the financial side or your relationships #ItStartsWithAction, BNZ media release, 27.06.2022

Free toolkit launched to help couples have conversations about money, Good Shepherd media release, 27.06.2022

Image: Pixabay on Pexels

More news articles about CommunityGovernment