Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

Government to pay for homes for abusers

Justice Minister Amy Adams says domestic abusers can often return home to commit more violence if they cannot be housed elsewhere. Photo: Mark Mitchell
Justice Minister Amy Adams says domestic abusers can often return home to commit more violence if they cannot be housed elsewhere. Photo: Mark Mitchell

People who commit violence against their partners or families will be moved to temporary housing as part of a new Government scheme.

Justice Minister Amy Adams and Social Development Minister Anne Tolley said today $500,000 would go towards dedicated, emergency homes for perpetrators of domestic violence.

The housing places will be used when abusers have to stay away for a short period but have nowhere else to live.

"A shortage of such accommodation can lead to them returning home, sometimes leading to further family violence incidents," Adams said today.

The initiative is part of a new approach to domestic violence which aims to relieve pressure on victims at a time of crisis.

Tolley said the system in the past could inadvertently force victims to bear the burden of keeping themselves safe.

The trauma of violence could be compounded by further upheavals, such as disruptions to housing, jobs or schooling, she said.

"Evidence suggests that removing perpetrators rather than victims from family violence situations can help prevent homelessness for the victims and creates less disruption in their lives."

The funding will focus on Christchurch and Waikato, where domestic violence programmes are being trialled.

The new initiative will complement another scheme which helps victims stay safe in their homes by installing new locks and alarm systems.

Around 750 victims have had their houses fitted with security features under the $3.6 million programme.

In 2010, police introduced special orders which required abusers to stay away from the family home for up to five days.

In some cases, the person had nowhere else to stay.

- NZ Herald

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