Action - Explore options to reduce violence, abuse and neglect
The action outlined below will help achieve this outcome. This work was started under the existing Disability Action Plan.
8 B: Explore options to reduce violence, abuse (all types, including bullying) and neglect of disabled people and understand the impact of different cultural contexts. This work will include:
building on previous work to educate disabled people about their rights
ensuring the needs of disabled people are built into the Family Violence work programme
scoping a new work programme for abuse by non-family members.
On this page
- Context: brief background, what is this action intended to achieve?
- Proposed scope
- What is included in the scope of this action?
- What are the timeframes for implementation?
- What resources will the lead and partners contribute?
- What governance arrangements are in place for this project?
- Contributors/partners with lead – who is involved in this action?
- Reporting – key milestones/deliverables
- Impact – what are we trying to achieve?
- Evidence base
- Related work
Scope approved [complete]
- DPO Coalition signed off in July 2016.
Ministerial report seeking approval for work programme to be prepared [delayed for a suggested re-scope)
- Original scoping document work programme:
- Establish group to develop new model for preventing abuse and neglect (June 2016)
- Identify possible domestic and international models to inform design of new model (August 2016)
- Develop a New Zealand model for preventing abuse and neglect of older people and disabled people at the hands of non-family members (February 2017)
- Report to Ministers with recommendations for a preferred model (March 2017)
Lead: TBD, Ministry of Social Development
Others involved: Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, ACC
DPOs contact: Disabled Persons Assembly
Others: Individual experts, People First, Kāpo Maori
In July 2015, the Justice and Social Development Ministers launched a new work programme to ensure government agencies respond better to family and sexual violence. As part of the new approach, Ministers will be more involved in coordinated decision-making through the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. They will also ensure that NGOs have a bigger role to play. The Ministerial group replaces the Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families.
In September 2015, the Minister for Seniors and the Minister for Disability Issues asked that the Ministry of Social Development to establish a distinct work programme for violence and abuse-related issues for older people and disabled people that occurs at the hands of non-family members. Because harm that occurs at the hands of a non-related carer does not fall within the ambit of the wider work on family violence and sexual violence, there is a need to ensure that where harm occurs, the victims also receive support and protection.
This action is intended to create a stronger framework for supporting older people and disabled people who fall victim to abuse and neglect, and it also aims to reduce such occurrences.
What is the purpose of this action and how will it be implemented?
This will span three areas:
- The on-going work of the Ministerial Group on family violence and sexual violence
- Work on preventing abuse and neglect of older people and disabled people by non-family members
- Existing operational responses to harm such as Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention (EANP) services. [It will, where possible, be informed by pilot initiatives such as the Safeguarding Adults From Abuse (SAFA). ]
This action covers people with disabilities and people aged 65 or over. For disabled young people many issues associated with violence, abuse or neglect will be covered under action 8a, but where issues fall outside of 8a, there is an opportunity to capture them under this action.
This action also recognises that there are specific cultural elements that play a role in violence, abuse or neglect that need to be carefully considered, for example:
- To Māori, acts of whānau violence are transgressions against whakapapa, mana and tapu.
- Within Pacific families, violence is understood to breach tapu or Va Tapuia relationships between family members.
- For other migrant or refugee groups, their experiences will also be interpreted through distinct cultural lenses and lived experiences.
Effective solutions to understand and address violence, abuse and neglect need to be able to take into account these cultural elements which influence both the manifestation of the issues, and the potential range of solutions.
Definition of Family Violence
A definition of Family Violence has been developed to support the activities of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. This definition is laid out below, and will guide the scope of this action:
“Family violence includes any violent, threatening, coercive or controlling behaviour, in an intimate or family relationship, that may cause a person to live in fear. It usually manifests as a pattern of controlling or coercive behaviour.
Family violence is different from other forms of violence. The difference stems from the complex emotional, economic, legal and cultural ties and obligations that exist among family members. These ties make family violence particularly difficult to detect, report and remedy.
Family violence occurs within a variety of relationships. Different communities have varying understandings of what constitutes family (e.g. whānau, aiga). The common defining factors of family are the degree of closeness and the resulting expectations of trust and care. Generally, the closer the relationship is, the greater the expectations of trust and care. This same closeness provides opportunity for a pattern of abusive behaviour to develop.”
Types of Violence
“Family violence involves the exploitation of power imbalances. Family violence may be a single event, but is more commonly a pattern of abusive behaviour. Abusive behaviours might not seem serious in isolation but when viewed together with other abusive behaviours, they can illustrate a harmful pattern of control. Family violence takes a number of different forms, which can operate in conjunction with other forms or independently. These behaviours include, but are not limited to:
Forms of violence: Examples
- Physical violence: Murder, strangulation, hitting, shaking, slapping, kicking, throwing acid, kidnapping
- Coercive control: Social isolation; economic abuse, harassment, stalking, surveillance, forced marriage, harming pets to scare or manipulate, threatening to withdraw immigration status, preventing access to medical treatment
- Sexual violence: Rape, unwanted sexual contact or touching, forced watching of sexually explicit content, female genital mutilation, forced prostitution
- Psychological abuse and neglect: Threatening, intimidating, humiliating, yelling, allowing a child to witness or know about violence, failing to provide for basic needs, denial of proper care and attention or erratic care and attention.
For a number of aspects that are linked to on-going work across the family violence and sexual violence areas, many of the time frames are set by Cabinet.
For work on the development of a preferred model for the prevention of abuse and neglect of older people and disabled people, the following timeframes have yet to be confirmed:
- June 2016 – Establish group to develop new model for preventing abuse and neglect
- August 2016 – Identify possible domestic and international models to inform design of new model
- February 2017 – Develop a New Zealand model for preventing abuse and neglect of older people and disabled people at the hands of non-family members.
- March 2017 – Report to Ministers with recommendations for a preferred model.
The timeframes for the Ministry of Health led work are determined by the Minister of Health.
It is envisaged that developing and delivering a new model for preventing abuse and neglect will require direct resourcing of between $55,000 and $80,000 in the first year, although this is subject to discussion with Ministers. The final nature and scope of this work stream will be confirmed once decisions have been made by Ministers.
- Ministerial Group for family violence and sexual violence
- Ministerial Group on preventing abuse and neglect of older people and disabled people
- Chief Executives’ Group on Disabilities Issues and Disabled Peoples Organisations
- The family violence and sexual violence steering group
- Prevention of abuse and neglect of older people and disabled people steering group
Government agencies including:
- Ministry of Health
- The Accident Compensation Corporation
- The Ministry of Justice (subject to availability)
- The Ministry of Education (subject to availability).
Disabled Peoples Organisations via DeafBlind (NZ) Incorporated.
Sector experts engaged in working with:
- Preventing and responding to abuse and neglect of disabled people
- Preventing and responding to elder abuse and neglect
Others, including medical professionals and academics tbc (subject to availability)
DeafBlind (NZ) Incorporated was involved in drafting this scope. The organisations that will be involved in implementing this action will be confirmed once it is finalised.
The lead agency is responsible for reporting every 3 months to the Office for Disability Issues
A ministerial report seeking approval for a work programme for the prevention of abuse and neglect of older people and disabled people – date TBC.
There are a number of risks associated with this work area. These include:
- A lack of effective policies and interventions across the wider work programme on family violence and sexual violence.
- The possibility for the development approach chosen to result in a model that proves to be ill-suited to the task of preventing and responding to the abuse and neglect of older people and disabled people.
- Lacking the opportunity or suitable mechanisms and resources to implement a new model for preventing and responding to abuse and neglect of older people and disabled people.
- A lack of overall co-ordination across the multiple connected, but distinct pieces of work within the broader area of abuse and neglect.
- Reduced violence against older people and disabled people
- Increased awareness of issues surrounding the abuse and neglect of older people and disabled people.
- Increased social inclusion of older people and disabled people.
Part of the problem itself is the lack of evidence and data when it comes to abuse and neglect of older people and disabled people. However, estimates based on domestic and international research indicate that:
- disabled people, particularly disabled women, are up to twice as likely to be victims of abuse and neglect as non-disabled people
- disabled women are up to three times more likely to be threatened with sexual assault or to be victims of sexual abuse than other women. A New Zealand study that looked at adult survivors of sexual abuse found that at least one third of those interviewed had a disability or impairment
- disabled children are at an increased risk of abuse or neglect in comparison to other children. Māori children are also significantly more likely to experience disability. The 2013 New Zealand Disability Survey identified that 15 percent of Māori aged 0 to 14 were affected by disability, compared with 11 percent for the total population for the same age group
- there is a significant lack of data and evidence on disabled Māori affected by abuse or neglect. An improved evidence base is urgently needed to inform the design and delivery of effective responses
- it is likely that 1 in 10 older people have been victims of elder abuse and neglect, with older Māori having a significantly increased risk of abuse or neglect
- Age Concern (the main provider of elder abuse and neglect prevention services in New Zealand) currently receives over 2,000 elder abuse and neglect referrals a year
Ministerial working group on family violence and sexual violence.
Ministerial working group on prevention of abuse and neglect of older people and disabled people.
The Ministry of Health’s review of health and disability regulations.
The review of the Domestic Violence Act 1995.
Practical and operational responses to address abuse and neglect such as:
- Keeping Safe, Feeling Safe
- Safeguarding Adults From Abuse (SAFA)
- Money Smart Made Easy financial literacy seminars
- Elder Abuse and Neglect Prevention Services
- E Tu Whānau - a Māori response to the unacceptable levels of violence within te Ao Māori
- Pasifika Proud – an approach to promoting better well-being by preventing violence in Pacific families and communities.
Page last updated: