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New Zealand

Population size: 

4.8 million [1]

Number of people experiencing domestic abuse each year:

50% of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) deaths occurred at the time of actual or intended separation. In the four years from 2009 to 2012, 76% of intimate partner violence-related deaths were perpetrated by men, 24% were perpetrated by women. It is worth noting also that IPV-related deaths include the deaths of new (male) partners of women, by the woman’s ex-partner. [2]

No research on male victims or other gender identities.

Cost of domestic abuse to the economy each year:

Family violence is estimated to cost the country between NZ$4.1bn and $7bn a year. [3]

Estimated % change due to COVID-19:

Police figures comparing the week before the lockdown show a 22 percent increase in investigations. [4] Mirroring the police figures are those from Women's Refuge, showing a 20 percent increase in calls related to domestic violence [5]

Current law and policy:

New Zealand commits to a comprehensive approach towards ending violence against women and girls. New Zealand commits to a comprehensive approach towards ending violence against women and girls, with interventions for prevention and both protection of and support for victims, and accountability of offenders. The New Zealand Government has set clear targets to reduce the violent crime rate by 20 per cent and to reduce the re-offending rate by 25 per cent by 2017. It has announced the introduction of a new restraining order for offenders. This order will reduce the likelihood of victims of serious violent or sexual crimes having unwanted contact with their attackers once they have been released from prison and the period for release and parole conditions has ended.

New Zealand continues to improve its legislative framework by expanding the legal definition of domestic violence to include economic abuse. Implemented in late 2012, the New Zealand Police Victim Focus initiative will improve the overall quality of service that Police provide to victims, especially those at highest risk of victimization. New Zealand is proud of the diversity of its population and has established E Tu Whānau Ora Programme of Action, a framework for addressing issues of violence for Māori. Nga Vaka o Kaiga Tapu – A Pacific Conceptual Framework to address family violence in New Zealand will be used to guide the development of family violence training for Pacific practitioners.

The Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families is a multi-sectoral taskforce focusing on primary prevention. Government Ministers have assumed a shared leadership role for addressing violence against women and girls through the Family Violence Ministerial Group. This provides a high level of oversight of work to address family violence and ensures there are linkages between the Taskforce work and other strategic priorities. The "It’s Not OK" campaign aims to reduce family violence in New Zealand through changing attitudes and behaviour that tolerate any kind of family violence. The Ministry of Health’s Violence Intervention Programme aims to reduce and prevent the health impacts of violence through early identification, assessment and referral, and works in inter-sectoral partnerships to train health professionals in partner abuse intervention.

Internationally, New Zealand continues to take on a leadership role in the Pacific through the Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Programme, which is building the capacity of Pacific Police services, including the development and maintenance of partnerships between police and other organizations, to prevent and respond effectively to domestic violence.