Addressing family violence and sexual violence

Together we can end family violence, the time is now Stop family violence. Did you know it’s a crime to:
- strangle or suffocate someone
- force anyone to get married
- assault anyone in your family
Find out more about the new family violence laws

The Family Violence Act 2018 provides a modern and enabling framework to effectively address family violence.

Find out more about the Family Violence Act

Family violence and sexual violence have a devastating impact on people and communities across the country.

Each year, New Zealand Police conduct more than 100,000 investigations related to family violence. Nearly half of all homicides and reported violent crimes are family violence related. It is estimated that one in four females and one in eight males experience sexual violence or abuse in their lifetimes, many before the age of 16.

Find out more about statistics related to family violence

What is family violence and sexual violence?

Family violence is physical, sexual or psychological abuse against any person by someone with whom they have a close and personal relationship. Psychological abuse includes economic and financial abuse, threats of violence, property damage and causing children to witness violence.

Family violence includes intimate partner violence; child abuse and neglect by a family member; elder abuse and neglect by a family member; and abuse of a family member with disabilities.

Sexual violence affects people of every age, gender and sexual orientation. It can range from sexual coercion and intimidation to physical offences such as indecent assault and rape.

Building trust for court participants

We have a multi-year work programme underway to improve the court experience for people affected by family violence and sexual violence.

Our Family Violence Sexual Violence (FVSV) work programme is making improvements across all aspects of the Ministry of Justice response to people involved in FVSV court proceedings.

The work programme spans six areas:

  • Training our workforce, both staff and those we contract with, to respond to participants affected by FVSV
  • Ensuring policies and processes are based on best practice
  • Easier access to health and social services
  • Information is easy to find and comprehensive
  • Property and facilities are safe and welcoming
  • Data and evidence, including feedback from participants, informs decisions.

The goal of the work programme is for people affected by FVSV to feel safe, supported and well informed in their interactions with the Ministry of Justice. 

The work programme addresses feedback that victims of FVSV feel further traumatised by their experiences in court.  

Cross-government leadership

The Ministry of Justice is part of a cross-government work programme related to family violence and sexual violence that aims to ensure victims are safer, improve services are change longstanding behaviours and attitudes.

Find out more about the Family Violence and Sexual Violence Work Programme


Evaluation of Family Violence Courts - final report 5 March 2021 [PDF, 2 MB]

Family Violence Bail (FVB) pilot evaluation - final report [PDF, 1.1 MB]

Help and advice

If you or someone you know needs information about how and where to get help, visit the following websites:

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