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Breaking the silence: Recap of the Aotearoa NZ National Family Violence Conference

There was a strong call to action asking the government to pour more investment into rehabilitating people who harm at this year’s Te Pūtake 2024 National Family Violence Conference.


Te Pūtake - 2024 Aotearoa/NZ National Family Violence Conference

Te Pūtake – 2024 Aotearoa/NZ National Family Violence Conference

The call is for this to sit alongside Te Aorerekura, the National Strategy to Eliminate Family Violence and Sexual Violence, which is a 25-year strategy to drive government action by harnessing public support and community groups too.

The Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence and Sexual Violence of New Zealand, Karen Chhour, officially launched the event and the keynote speakers came from the United States of America.

The Family Peace Initiative’s Dorthy Stucky Halley and Steve Halley shared about the need to understand the different motives of those who perpetrate family violence and the connection to risk and lethality.

More than 400 delegates travelled to Wellington on 29-30 May for the conference organised by Te Kupenga Whakaiti Mahi Patunga, the National Network of Family Violence Services.

There were plenty of opportunities to network, learn about the sector, and consider best practice. Over two days, there were 94 presenters delivering 41 concurrent session papers.

Participants came from overseas and all over the motu, including from universities, community groups, government and not-for-profit organisations.

Sessions covered a variety of topics across the sector, including culture and faith, working with tāne Maori, mana wāhine research, survival based lived experiences, children and young people, workforce development, leadership and change.

While the overarching theme of the conference revolved around family violence, the topics of sexual violence prevention and child sexual abuse prevention were also discussed.

Among the attendees were representatives from Le Va’s Atu-Mai team – Sara Vui-Talitu and Charles Lavea – who attended diverse workshops and sessions to exchange ideas, hear about life experiences, network and gain research insights.

Atu-Mai Community Engagement Lead, Charles Lavea, said it was well worth going and hopefully next time, Le Va can present some of its findings, especially with our work on child sexual abuse.

“I really enjoyed connecting with community and sharing tools and knowledge on how we can better serve our people,” he said.

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Covid-19 Update

Face-to-face workshops will not continue while New Zealand is at Level 4. We will be in contact with all participants soon.