Women's Refuge wins contract for National Home Safety Service

Image: Pixabay

The Ministry of Justice has expanded the National Home Safety Service, awarding the national contract to a partnership between National Collective of Independent Women's Refuges (NCIWR), Shakti New Zealand and the Pacific Island Safety and Prevention Project.

The three year contract, worth $3.6 million, begins on 1 July 2015. It aims to better protect up to 1000 adult and child victims of family violence each year by making homes safer. Home security is upgraded by replacing glass panelled doors with solid doors, installing security lights and monitored personal alarms, replacing locks and repairing broken windows. The service also links victims to other agencies that can support them.

The service builds on the work of the Safe@Home service developed by domestic violence agency Shine since 2008, currently available in Auckland, Tauranga and Christchurch. The programme was evaluated by the Ministry of Social Development in 2010. Shine also wrote a report, Changing a crime scene into a home, on the first 300 cases. Shine executive director Jane Drumm says the model is extremely successful. "Effectively what it did was make the homes of high risk victims much more secure, so it bought them time to get help from police." She says Shine is sorry to miss out on the chance to be involved in the project.

A further evaluation of the Shine safe@home programme for victims/survivors of domestic violence was published in September 2014.

Aviva (formerly Christchurch Women's Refuge), which runs the Safe @ Home programme in Christchurch through Shine, expressed concern at the possible duplication of services. Chief Executive Nicola Woodward said "This is a step backwards rather than a step forward. We know there is a lot of confusion for clients [on] how to access services when services are provided by multiple providers."

Expanding the initiative is part of the suite of initiatives announced by the Government in July 2014 in its Stronger Response to Family Violence package.

Media

Home Safety Service helps over 2200 people, Beehive: Amy Adams, 02.08.2017

Over 750 victims already benefiting from safer homes, Press release: NZ Government, 20.07.2016

Family violence victims get safer houses, NewsHub, 20.07.2016

Helping hand for abuse victims, NZ Herald, 20.07.2016

Round-the-clock emergency support for DV victims, Press Release: Tunstall Healthcare, 15.03.2016

Keeping victims safe, SunLive, 05.08.2015

Service to help violence victims secure homes, Gisborne Herald, 03.07.2015

Home Safety Service rolled out nationwide, Beehive, 01.07.2015

Police back security for victims, Timaru Herald, 23.03.2015

Domestic violence plan leads to 'service duplication', The Press, 09.03.2015

Hopes domestic violence programme will save lives, NewsTalk ZB, 06.03.2015

National Home Safety Service, Women's Refuge, 05.03.2015

$3.6 million to extend Home Safety Service nationwide, Beehive, 05.03.2015

Security boost to homes of domestic violence victims, Stuff, 05.03.2015

'All you need is seconds' - Mother praises $3m plan to save domestic violence victims, TVNZ, 05.03.2015

Bid to curb domestic violence rates, Radio NZ, 05.03.2015