Indian men ditch domestic violence after time out at Auckland home

A new initiative by Auckland's Indian community is claiming a 90 per cent success rate for preventing domestic violence. 

Auckland's Indian community is tackling domestic violence with a refuge for offenders. Source: 1 NEWS

It's a home for men who've been ordered out of their own homes by police, offering counselling and accommodation.

The home, Gandhi Nivas, is the brainchild of a South Auckland health advocate, Ranjna Patel, who says it's not a motel.

"In the morning the social worker based in the house is the one who starts the process of talking," Ms Patel told ONE News. 

Men who find themselves at the home have been served with a police safety order which is issued after a domestic incident when facts aren't clear. 

It means the men must leave their homes for at least 24 hours.

Ms Patel was moved to come up with the initiative by an appalling set of domestic violence-related deaths.

My stay at Ghandi Nivas helped me clear my head - A man who attended the home

"One particular year about four years ago, four out of 14 [domestic violence-related] deaths were Indian women, which is completely out of kilter for the ratio of population in New Zealand," she said.

What makes  Gandhi Nivas special is that the men receive free counselling for as long as they need it to break the cycle.

The men say changing bad behaviour needs space. 

"My stay at Gandhi Nivas helped me clear my head and give me a place to cool down and think things through," one man said.

Open for a year, 100 men have now been through the house and a Massey University study has found 93 of them haven't reoffended.

It's an excellent result says police district ethnic services co-ordinator Sergeant Gurpreet Arora.

"And from the family perspective it means more family harmony which means there are no family violence incidents happening in those homes," he said.

Open to all ethnicities, police are hoping other communities will lay down the welcome mat to more houses like Gandhi Nivas.