Keeping victims safe

The new Home Safety Service being rolled out nationwide will take over from the “superb work” of SHINE here in Tauranga.

SHINE ‘Safe at Home’ has been running for three years and was a pilot project aimed at keeping assault victims safe.

The Home Safe Service will take over from the SHINE programme in keeping victims of serious assaults safe. Photo: File.

Justice Minister Amy Adams says the new initiative will see up to 1000 victims of family violence better protected with the rollout of the service.

The National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges, which was awarded a three-year, $3.6 million contract in March, will begin rolling out the service today.

The service will assist up to 400 victims of family violence a year, and up to 600 children, to remain in their homes with a significantly reduced risk of serious physical harm or violence.

Tauranga Family Violence Response Coordinator Heather Beddie says the city’s women’s refuge, in partnership with the national collective of independent refuges, have already begun taking referrals.

“SHINE ran the pilot project, which has proved to be invaluable in keeping victims of the most serious assaults and their children safe when they have lived in homes where violence has been done to them,” explains Heather.

“This is a practical project and alarms are just part of the tools that comes from thorough safety planning and needs assessment for personal and family safety.

“We are extremely lucky here in Tauranga as the coordinator from SHINE, whose work in partnership with our most at risk victims of violence, is going to be working with our local refuge so that changes are as seamless as possible.

“Her work over the last three years has been amazing and her commitment to the project has meant that many women and children could sleep safe in their own beds at night.”

Heather is sad to see SHINE’s pilot end, however. “It’s from that work that the results show just how important the programme is for women and children to keep them from further harm,” she adds.

“With the police, women’s refuge and our violence intervention services all working together this is another tool of safety for women and their children.”

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