Reducing family & sexual violence

The Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill is being considered by Parliament

Find out more about the Safer Sooner changes

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 family violence investigations. 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.

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 and gender. It can range from sexual coercion and intimidation to physical offences such as indecent assault and rape.

Cross-government work programme

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, and change long-standing behaviours and attitudes.

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

The Ministry’s contribution to reducing family violence focuses on four areas:

  • Better supporting and protecting of victims of family violence
  • Improving victims’ experience of the justice system
  • Supporting judicial decision making in cases involving family violence
  • Ensuring family violence legislation is modern and fit for purpose.

For information about initiatives in these areas, see:

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

For information about proposed changes to family violence legislation, see:

Safer Sooner: Strengthening family violence laws

Back to top

Help & advice

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

Back to top

This page was last updated: