Safer Sooner – health and wellbeing must be linked with domestic violence prevention
NZNO welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment to overhaul the Domestic Violence Act to empower agencies to share
information and also to protect women and children sooner. NZNO chief executive Memo Musa says government impetus on
this issue is good but that NZNO remains concerned that the health and wellbeing aspect of domestic violence is not
being sufficiently addressed.
“Nurses are often the first health professionals to come into contact with a person at risk of, or actually experiencing
violence. NZNO strongly support any improvement to the quality, consistency and timeliness of interventions to keep
victims safe,” Memo Musa says.
“We would like the independent risk and needs assessment hub to involve key health providers such as nurses.
“The need for aligned policy, action, and communication between health, justice and social services is crucial in order
for domestic violence to no longer be a blight on New Zealand society.
“We welcome ensuring the safety of a domestic violence victim when bail conditions are set. Nurses see women
re-presenting to health services as victims of domestic violence. The cycle of domestic violence isn’t just between
generations but often in one person’s life as a victim of partner violence.
“Using the Police Safety Orders as a way to provide help before the perpetrator goes into the court system is a good
initiative. As this overhaul takes shape we would like to see a greater justice sector focus on prevention, linked with
health agencies. We know that identifying these domestic health and wellbeing risk factors means some violence can be
“We look forward to engaging further with the government on the overhaul of the Domestic Violence Act and feeding into
the submission process,” Memo Musa said.