A major five-year study by Massey University has found that by working directly with perpetrators of family violence, the Gandhi Nivas programme was able to prevent almost 60% of the men who have taken part from reoffending.
The Gandhi Nivas programme, which was founded by Tāmaki Health founder and director Ranjna Patel, provides emergency housing and counselling to men who have been issued with a Police Safety Order (PSO) following an act of family harm. Participating agencies describe the initiative as innovative and groundbreaking.
Once a man is issued with a PSO, he must leave the family home for a set period of time. It’s at this point that some men are taken by Police to one of three Gandhi Nivas homes in Ōtāhuhu, Te Atatū and Papakura. This immediately decreases the likelihood of further family harm, increases safety for the family, and provides the offender with an opportunity to begin the process of behavioural change.
Male violence: How the groundbreaking Gandhi Nivas programme is reducing family harm, NZ Herald
South Auckland Initiative reduces rate of family violence reoffending by almost 60%, 1 News
Better to remove domestic violence perpetrators than victims - research, RNZ
Rajna says the report’s findings provide compelling proof of concept for the interventionist model.
“If you want to see transformational change in this country you have to work with the men who are inflicting violent behaviour in the family home. It’s important to support the victims of domestic violence, but that won’t change a man’s behaviour. To end violent behaviour, you’ve got to find and address its source.”