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Children Most Powerless Victims Of Family Violence

"Children are the most powerless victims of Family Violence - they cannot escape it unless adults intervene." CYPFA Policy Advisor Linda Taylor said today following a report from the NZ Herald that showed that one woman in five is hit in the home.

"The consequences for children and young people brought up in violent homes are very serious. Research tells us that children who witness family violence may display similar symptoms to children who have been sexually, physically and emotionally abused." Linda Talyor said.

Some of the behaviors that children and young people who witness family violence exhibit include:

Sadness, depression and stress disorders

Low self esteem

Social isolation

Constant fear and terror

Poor problem-solving skills

Poor sexual self image

Heightened risk of suicide

Drug and alcohol abuse

Ms Taylor says that children are present in about sixty percent of family violence incidents that Police respond to - and that can be as many as 35,000 incidents of family violence every year.

That is why we are working with the Police and Women's Refuge to combat Family Violence." Ms Taylor said.

A pilot scheme in six centres around the country requires front line Police attending Family Violence incidents to assess how children are affected, and refer them to appropriate helping agencies including CYPFA.

"If a case comes to CYPFA we will work with a family to ensure that both adult and child victims of family violence are kept safe and given the support they need to exit the cycle of violence." Ms Taylor said.


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