When CM Police were concerned about the increase in Family Violence in the South Asian community in 2013, they asked the Advisory Board to Counties Manukau NZ Police, to help address the high rate on Family Violence. Ranjna an experienced health worker in high needs community, building the largest Primary Healthcare in NZ and a community leader, worked with NZ Police to ask the Community for solutions.
(Research to Ranjna is) Identifying the root cause of a problem and gaps was the issue Ranjna tackled. As in health, access was the main barrier for men to get help. In order to keep women and children safe and lessen the trauma of being removed from the home, men are removed and offered emergency accommodation, counselling and behavioural therapy (while also providing wraparound support to the whānau at home, as we know only 20% of women ask for help). Despite all the research to support it, the concept was a challenging one to get off the ground, as people are less willing to invest in support services for men who are physically and emotionally abusive to their families. But 90% of women take the men back.
In 2014 Ranjna established the first Gandhi Nivas home for perpetrators for rehabilitation in Otahuhu, partnering with NZ Police and Sahaayta Counselling services and now there are now three permanent Gandhi Nivas homes in Auckland, all staffed 24/7 by counsellors, social workers and Alcohol and Drug counsellors. Massey University released a 5-year longitudinal study (looking at men 5 years before entering Gandhi Nivas and after) and found 60% of men did not re-offend. 60% non-recidivism is amazing and will make a difference in NZ shameful Family Violence statistics.