The Programme: Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Programme (PPDVP)

The PPDVP is an initiative of the New Zealand Agency for International Development (New Zealand Aid Programme), New Zealand Police (NZPOL) and the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police (PICP).

The long-term goal of the programme is “a safer Pacific free from domestic violence”.

The PPDVP will focus primarily on building the capacity of Pacific Police services to prevent/respond effectively to domestic violence.  This will include the development and maintenance of effective partnerships between Police and other agencies/NGOs with a role in preventing/responding effectively to domestic violence.   The programme will involve both regional and national level components.  At the regional level all Pacific countries will be invited to participate in a range of training, networking and information sharing activities aimed at building the capacity of Police services across the region to prevent/respond effectively to domestic violence, to develop effective regional partnerships and networking and to promote the prevention of domestic violence as a priority issue in the Pacific.

At a national level, the programme will work more intensively with a limited number of Pacific countries, initially Cook Islands, Kiribati, Samoa and Tonga, to provide on the ground sustained support for the development of Police domestic violence policy, strategy, action plans, systems and training programmes.  At national level, as at regional level, the development of effective partnerships between Police and other relevant agencies/NGOs will be an important part of the programme.  While the initial programme duration is five years it is expected that the programme will extend beyond this period.  On 1 July 2012 a further period of activity was announced for ongoing support to 30 June 2016.

The programme builds on earlier New Zealand Aid Programme and NZPOL support for domestic violence prevention in the Pacific. New Zealand Aid Programme has had a long history of providing assistance for gender equality programmes in the Pacific including support for NGOs addressing domestic violence.  From 1998 –2001 NZPOL with assistance from New Zealand Aid Programme provided support for Pacific Police services primarily in Kiribati, Cook Islands, Tonga and Niue to build their capacity to prevent/respond effectively to domestic violence.  Feedback from these programmes indicates that while the assistance was well received in the region there is a need for more consistent and on-going support.

Programme Goal

A Safer Pacific Free from Domestic Violence


Programme Components

The original specific components of the PPDVP were :

i)To increase Pacific Police capacity across the region to prevent/respond effectively to domestic violence and to develop and maintain effective partnerships through regionally coordinated programmes

ii)To increase Police capacity in Samoa, Tonga, Cooks Islands and Kiribati to prevent/respond effectively to domestic violence through national level programmes.

iii)To develop and maintain effective partnerships between Police and relevant government agencies, NGOs, churches, community leaders/organisations to prevent/respond effectively to domestic violence in Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands and Kiribati.

iv)To support the development of appropriate legislation on domestic violence and training for the judiciary/legal profession in Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands and Kiribati.

v)To support development of appropriate national policy on domestic violence and incorporation of appropriate actions in national development plans, in Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands and Kiribati.

These were reviewed in 2011-12 and in July 2012 a further Phase of PPDVP was agreed with refined Goals and Components:

The long-term Outcome for 2016 is “The Community has confidence and trust in Pacific Police Services to prevent and respond to domestic violence.”  To achieve this the “Pacific Police Services will need to be effective at preventing and responding to domestic violence.”

The three key work areas of the PPDVP for Phase 2 which commenced on 1 July 2012 are.

1. Country specific Knowledge, Attitudes and Practice (KAP) data established and action plans developed, including standard reporting protocols and tools developed and established

2.Domestic violence mentoring and training delivered

3.Pacific Police Service and partners information exchange protocols agreed, and engagement activities with partners and community developed.

Programme Rationale

Domestic violence is a serious violation of human rights, most often affecting women.  No person is able to realise their full potential if they are oppressed by abuse.  The economic and social costs of domestic violence within countries are yet to be comprehensively measured.  However international research on the issue suggests that they are likely to be extremely high. World-wide for instance it is known that more women under the age of 44 are killed or disabled because of domestic violence than through cancer, malaria, traffic accidents or war.  Violence against women within the context of the family may be the leading cause of injury and death to women world-wide – yet it is the crime least likely to be reported.

In the Pacific region, studies undertaken by regional agencies such as the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre/Pacific Women’s Network against Violence against Women (FWCC/PWNAVAW), the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM now UN Women), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and by national NGOs indicate that a large proportion of women are affected by domestic violence. Domestic violence is seen as a private matter between domestic partners and not viewed as a crime in many Pacific communities.  As a consequence, there is known to be a high level of under-reporting.  Many cases that are reported are not adequately recorded for statistical purposes and many do not proceed to prosecution.  A recent Pacific Regional Policing Initiative (PRPI) country needs assessment in Forum Secretariat countries identified domestic violence as a regional theme – an issue or problem presenting in the majority of countries – with little Police capacity to respond to it.

There is a strong rationale for New Zealand Aid Programme, NZPOL and PICP to initiate a programme of capacity building with Pacific Police to prevent/respond effectively to domestic violence.  The programme is highly consistent with:

  • International Human Rights Conventions;
  • The Pacific Plan developed by Pacific Forum leaders;
  • The Pacific Platform for Action on Women;
  • The Pacific Chiefs of Police (PICP) mission statement and strategies;
  • New Zealand Aid Programme’s vision of a safe and just world free of poverty and New Zealand Aid Programme Policies including commitment to the Millennium Development Goals MDGs);
  • The New Zealand Domestic Violence Act, the New Zealand Police Policy on Family Violence and Te Rito: the New Zealand Family Violence Prevention Strategy
  • The work of other agencies/NGOs relevant to domestic violence


Programme Partners

Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police (PICP)

The PPDVP is closely aligned with PICP’s key strategies of integrity, communications and relationship building and capacity building.  The support and promotion of the programme by PICP will be important in ensuring national and regional ownership and sustainability of the programme.  The PICP has been involved in the programme design and, with New Zealand Aid Programme and NZPOL, will be a member of the PPDVP Management Team.  As the organisation representing the key stakeholders and with direct links to all Pacific Chiefs of Police, the PICP plays a central role in the programme. Their knowledge, advice and guidance will be critical to ensuring regionally and nationally appropriate approaches and strategies.  The endorsement of the PPDVP Programme Design Document will be sought at the PICP 34th Annual Meeting prior to the commencement of any programme activities.


New Zealand Aid Programme

New Zealand Aid programme is New Zealand’s agency responsible for international assistance to developing countries and has a core geographical focus in the Pacific region. The principle focus of New Zealand Aid programme is poverty elimination (understood in terms of absolute poverty, poverty of opportunity and vulnerability) through sustainable and equitable development.  New Zealand Aid programme seeks to achieve this by working with development partners for safe, just and inclusive societies.    New Zealand Aid Programme is committed to working towards achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  These include specifically Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women.  However the achievement of all the MDGs (for instance in relation to hunger, education, child and maternal health, HIV/AIDs) are highly correlated with gender equality.

The New Zealand Aid Programme human rights policy sees poverty and inequality as human rights issues as well as development issues.  Its guiding principles state that:

  • Human rights are universal, indivisible and inalienable and apply to all people
  • Human rights and equitable and sustainable development are interdependent and mutually reinforcing
  • Human rights are at the core of all development policy and practice and will be reflected throughout the development programming cycle

New Zealand Aid Programme’s Gender Policy states that:

Gender equality and the empowerment of women is central to the elimination of poverty and the achievement of sustainable people-centre development

The equal enjoyment of human rights by women and men is a universally accepted principle.

Support for a programme to prevent domestic violence is therefore highly consistent with New Zealand Aid Programme’s vision of “a safe and just world free of poverty” and with New Zealand Aid Programme’s cross cutting policies on human rights and gender equality.  The programme also addresses New Zealand Aid Programme operating principles of partnership, participation, equity and sustainability.


New Zealand Police

The PPDVP goal, objectives and approach are consistent with the New Zealand Domestic Violence Act, the New Zealand Police Policy on Family Violence and Te Rito: the NZ Family Violence Prevention Strategy.

NZPOL has significant experience in the area of domestic/family violence prevention.   The Domestic Violence Act of 1995 and Police Policy on Family Violence 1996 resulted in improved Police training and community awareness initiatives around family violence and the development of improved systems for recording and reporting family violence.  Maori and Pacific Police liaison officers around the country have particular knowledge and experience in dealing with family violence with Maori and Pacific communities and this will be drawn on in the implementation of the programme.

NZPOL knowledge and experience in relation to domestic/family violence will form an important basis for the PPDVP.  For the four country level programmes (Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati) NZPOL Officers will be selected to work alongside and mentor Police Officers in-country who have particular responsibilities for building the capacity of their Police Services to prevent/respond effectively to domestic violence. However Country Mentors will be selected not only for their knowledge and experience of domestic violence but also for their ability to work in a participatory way with partners to develop policies, strategies, systems and training that are appropriate and relevant to the cultural and social contexts in which they will be working.


Other Agencies

There are a number of regional and national agencies/NGOs (eg FWCC/PWNAVAW) and the various national NGOs that form part of its regional network) that have considerable experience in creating awareness of domestic violence and providing support and counseling for victims.  Agencies such as UN Women play a significant role in assisting countries to understand, ratify, implement and report on CEDAW.  There are others such as the Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT) and the Pacific Judicial Development Programme (PJDP) that focus on training, including human rights training, for Judges and Magistrates.

PPDVP has strong links with the Pacific Islands Forum and the Regional Security Committee (FRSC) especially in giving effect to the directions of the Leaders Cairns Communique of 2009 which declared domestic and family violence as a regional security issue.  Forum members were encouraged to introduce local response mechanisms to reduce the incidence and harm which results from domestic violence.

This major human rights abuse is only likely to be reduced when Police have improved capacity to respond effectively.  This includes the development of effective partnerships with other relevant agencies and NGOs.  An New Zealand Aid Programme/NZPOL/PICP capacity building programme for Police, operating in partnership with other agencies/NGOs with an interest in the area, therefore has the potential to make a significant contribution to the prevention of domestic violence in the Pacific region.


Programme Staffing:

The PPDVP will be staffed by a Programme Manager (PM) and Programme Officer (PO) with support from a Support Officer located at NZPOL Headquarters.  The programme at country level will be implemented by Pacific Police services with support from NZPOL. NZPOL will identify Country Mentors to act as support people on an on-going basis for each country involved in the country level programmes.  The Mentors will visit the country three times a year and between visits maintain on-going contact and support (via phone and email) for key personnel.  The on-going support provided by the Mentors will help to overcome some of the constraints likely to be faced by key Police personnel promoting prevention of domestic violence (such as isolation and sensitivity around the issue) and lead to more sustainable learning outcomes.

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