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1E.002 Gandhi Nivas: a collaborative, early intervention to improve safety from family violence
  1. Mandy Morgan,
  2. Leigh Coombes
  1. Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand


Context In New Zealand, Police have been empowered to issue Safety Orders (PSO) to protect those who are at risk of harm from a member of their family. PSOs serve to temporarily improve safety by requiring the person at risk of using violence to leave the home they share with protected persons and remain away for the duration of the Order.

Process Seeking to enhance the safety of women and children in their community, South East Asian community members in South Auckland collaborated with Police to establish an early intervention initiative to address the over-representation of Asian identified women among victims of family violence. Gandhi Nivas was founded to provide temporary accommodation for men and safety services for women and children late in 2014. Police bring some men bound by PSOs to Gandhi Nivas homes where they can stay voluntarily. Residence provides an opportunity for men and their families to engage with social, counselling and violence intervention services offered by Sahaayta. Services include 24/7 professional social work at the residence, counselling and support services for families and referrals as needed for other services.

Analysis Since late 2015, researchers have been working with Gandhi Nivas to conduct qualitative and statistical studies of this innovative community-led collaboration. To conclude our presentation, we provide an overview from the multi-study programme of research. Researchers’ identified promising findings from studies of both men’s and women’s experiences of Sahaatya’s services as well as early indications that family violence re-offending reduces after men reside at Gandhi Nivas.

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