New Zealand is spending $4 million to help young people get over their exes

March 22, 2023, 4:15 PM UTC
An upset-looking woman lies in her bed.
New Zealand’s government is spending $4 million to help young people get over their exes.
Oleg Breslavtsev/Getty Images

Breaking up is hard to do.

In acknowledgment of the fact that “breakups suck,” New Zealand’s government is investing millions of dollars to help “the freshly broken-up” move on from heartbreak.

The country’s Ministry of Social Development launched its Love Better campaign on Wednesday, which aims to help young people come to terms with breakups with the long-term objective of preventing domestic violence.

Family violence is a significant social issue in New Zealand, which has one of the highest rates of domestic and sexual violence in the developed world.

The campaign, launched by government ministers in Auckland on Wednesday morning, will offer text, phone and email contact through the charity Youthline, giving advice to young people in the throes of a breakup.

It will cost NZ$6.4 million ($3.98 million) over three years.

Love Better will encourage people struggling to get over an old flame to “own the feels” by acknowledging their pain.

The government says it wants to teach young New Zealanders to safely navigate breakups and that “there is a way through without harming themselves or others.”

The campaign launch includes a video ad that insists while “breakups suck … you can channel it for good.”

The video’s voiceover describes “a community of the freshly broken-up helping the freshly broken-up to keep a little hurt from becoming a lotta hurt.”

The clip also uses footage of real people talking about deleting their exes on social media.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Associate Social Development Minister Priyanca Radhakrishnan—who helped launch the campaign—said young people had told lawmakers they needed support dealing with “love and hurt.”

“Break-ups hurt. That’s normal,” she said. “But we want to support young people to know that there is a way through without harming themselves or others.”

Data recently published by market research firm Kantar found that 90% of New Zealanders aged between 16 and 24 had experienced harmful behavior in a relationship. These behaviors ranged from being isolated from friends and family to “physical” altercations.

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