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Family and sexual violence response training for people working in court

Family violence and sexual violence response training for the court workforce A leading family violence education and training provider Shine RESPOND will deliver family violence and sexual violence response training to thousands of people working in the courts over the next three years. Shine RESPOND is part of the training arm of specialist family violence charity Shine and provides community professional training to improve responses to family violence.

People working in the courts, from staff at the front door through to registry staff and the legal profession, will participate in trainings to increase understanding of family violence and sexual violence including the latest theory and research, challenging myths in society, and how to respond in different roles in the courts. The training was piloted across Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch District courts in 2023.

“The training is rolling out at District Courts around the country and has landed very well. Those who have attended have found it extremely useful, especially the practical strategies for responding to participants who disclose,” Ministry spokesperson Chief Operating Officer Carl Crafar said.

“The Ministry of Justice is committed to addressing New Zealand’s high rates of family violence and sexual violence and this is one way we can do this,” Mr Crafar said.

“The training is closely aligned with Te Aorerekura – the National Strategy to Eliminate Family Violence and Sexual Violence. It is led by the voices of people who have experienced family violence and sexual violence to help our understanding so that we can respond better,” says Shine Education and Training Manager, Margaret Fitzgibbon.

“This is an exciting initiative that will improve people’s knowledge and awareness around family violence and sexual violence and give them greater confidence in responding well to people who need help who are going through the court process. We value the commitment shown by the Ministry of Justice to improving the experience of people going through the courts who have experienced sexual violence or family violence.”

Shine RESPOND and RespectEd Aotearoa created the training package in 2022. The package was developed in conjunction with Te Ahi Kaa Indigenous Solutions Inc and was reviewed by Te Puna Oranga, a sexual violence specialist agency. The Backbone Collective and Wellington Rape Crisis provided victim-survivor reviews and their feedback and voices are represented throughout the package. The training is being delivered by Shine RESPOND in partnership with regional sexual violence specialist organisations around New Zealand. These are Rape Prevention Education for the Upper North Island, Tautoko Mai for Central North Island, RespectEd Aotearoa for the Lower North Island and Aviva for the South Island.

“Each training session will have one family violence trainer and one sexual violence trainer and be an in-person workshop. This approach will enable the most effective delivery of the specialist content and connection to support services,” Margaret Fitzgibbon says.


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