safe@home – changing a house from a crime scene into a home

Published: Fri 4 Nov 2011 12:48 PM
safe@home – changing a house from a crime scene into a home
4 November 2011, AUCKLAND: The National Party’s support of Shine’s safe@home programme has the potential to save the country millions of dollars annually and put a stop to the intolerable human cost incurred by high risk domestic abuse victims.
Jane Drumm, Executive Director of Safer Homes In NZ Everyday (Shine), says “we protect victims of serious domestic abuse, by making their house secure enough to prevent an abusive partner from entering – just long enough so they give up, or until help arrives.
The stunning fact is that it doesn't act just a deterrent: the abuse actually stops happening and often they don't come back.”
The safe@home programme includes undertaking a full risk assessment of the level of danger being experienced, creating a personalised safety plan and providing considerable support from our advocate staff for every individual living in danger. However, the core of the programme is a comprehensive assessment of their homes and then the provision of a major upgrade of the home security. This includes work such as installing solid wood doors, sensor lights, smoke detectors, new locks, bolts and peep holes and replacing ordinary windows with safety glass.
Jane Drumm says “one of the most important resources we provide is hand held personal silent alarms, which when activated, alerts the Police Communications Centre (where 111 calls are received) so that Police are able to get to the address quickly, without a phone call ever being required.”
The 2009 New Zealand Crime and Safety Survey found that “a small proportion of people experience multiple offences and that collectively these offences comprise a significant proportion of total crime … targeting crime prevention resources … (has) been empirically proven to both reduce levels of re-victimisation and overall crime levels.”
Domestic abuse is a crime characterised by repeat offending. Police estimate that 6 – 10% of victims of domestic abuse are involved in 65% of all reported cases they investigate. Safe@home is targeted at this group.

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