For Children, Youth and Family

Family Violence Intervention

If you, or a child or young person you know is in immediate danger dial 111 and ask for the Police.

If you are worried about a child you can contact Oranga Tamariki 0508 326 459 or  or email for some ideas about what to do. 

Call CNSST Social Work and Counselling Team 09-5701188 for information about services that can help you if you are experiencing or witnessing violence, or want to change your own behaviour. 


SWCT provides individualised one to one case management to support individual Asian migrants and their families who have experienced or caused family violence and want help to make positive changes to their lives.


NZ Definition of Family Violence:

Family violence has been grouped into 3 broad types: intimate partner violence, child abuse and neglect, and interfamilial violence (IFV) (Family Violence Death Review Committee 2014). Interfamilial violence includes all forms of abuse between family members other than intimate partners or parents of their children, for example, elder abuse or sibling violence. All the three groups of the violence have been identified and evidenced in Asian community in NZ.

Based on the Family Violence Risk Assessment and Management Framework 2017 – NZ Government (p.21), the forms of family violence include:

Psychological abuse

Psychological abuse has a legal definition in the Domestic Violence Act 1995 and includes intimidation,

harassment, damage to property, threatening other forms of violence (physical, sexual or psychological), financial and economic abuse. Psychologically abusing children includes causing them to, allowing them to, or putting them at real risk of, seeing or hearing any abuse of a person with whom they have a family relationship. Psychological abuse can also involve emotional abuse including behaviours such as playing mind games; manipulating someone by appealing to feelings of guilt, shame and worthlessness; verbal putdowns and ridiculing any aspect of a person; non-verbal actions, such as withdrawal, refusal to communicate and rude or dismissive gestures. Emotional abuse can be the most difficult form of abuse to identify.

Physical abuse

Physical abuse is any attack on another person’s physical safety and bodily integrity: from hitting, kicking, strangling, burning, punching and assault with weapons through to murder. It includes physically harming children.

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse is any actual or threatened sexual contact without consent, such as unwanted touching, exposure of genitals, making someone engage in a sexual act or view pornography against their will, and rape. An expectation of sex from another person after using violence is a form of sexual violence as the victim is unable to withhold consent for fear of further violence. While some forms of sexual violence are criminal acts – for example, sexual assault and rape – other forms, such as using degrading language, are not.

Online abuse

Online abuse takes advantage of new technologies to stalk, harass or intimidate someone and includes behaviours such as carrying out social media smear campaigns, tracking someone using smart technology, and sending unwanted explicit photos or messages to a person or posting explicit pictures of the person online without consent. These behaviours might be captured by the definitions of emotional, psychological or sexual abuse but may also be captured by the Harmful Digital Communications Act.

Financial abuse

Financial abuse includes not giving someone access to their share of the family’s resources; expecting them to manage the household on an impossibly low amount of money and/or criticising and blaming them when they’re unable to; monitoring their spending; and incurring debts in their name. It could also include preventing them from getting or keeping a job.

Social abuse

Social abuse is behaviour that limits, controls or interferes with another person’s social activities or relationships with others, such as controlling/monitoring their movements and social contact, isolating them or denying them access to family and friends. This could include a situation like a man frequently ‘losing’ the car keys or being late to look after the children when his partner wants to do something he disapproves of.

Spiritual abuse

Spiritual abuse is any behaviour that denigrates a person’s religious or spiritual beliefs or prevents them from attending religious gatherings or practising their faith. It also includes harming or threatening to harm people via religious or occult rituals or forcing them to participate in religious activities against their will.