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Stop making excuses for family violence

Anne Tolley MP
National Party Associate Welfare (CYFS) Spokeswoman

29 August 2006

Stop making excuses for family violence

National Party Associate Welfare spokeswoman Anne Tolley says Ruth Dyson is taking a “head in the sand” approach to family violence by blaming the media and the police for the pressure on CYFS.

“Her comments ignore the fact there has been a doubling in the rate of established child abuse since 2000, rising from 6,068 in 2000 to 13,570 in 2006. There has also been a rise in reported violent offending.

“Today, the Minister is trying to tell us that’s the fault of the police and the media. She must be blind.”

Mrs Tolley is commenting on an official report which looks at the growth in demand for CYFS services in recent years. It found that half of it has come from police referrals.

The Minister, Ruth Dyson, has been quoted as saying the media focus on high profile child abuse deaths may have led the police to be a little "risk averse".

Mrs Tolley is staggered that the Minister is sending a message to police not to report so much domestic violence.

“When the safety of women and children is being put at risk, frankly, I’d prefer the police did take a cautious approach.

“The only message the public can take from this is that the Minister now wants the police to ignore lower level child abuse.”

Mrs Tolley says Ruth Dyson’s bizarre attack on the media for publicising child abuse and domestic violence flies in the face of her own Government’s programme.

“Just a few weeks ago Labour signed off on a multi-million dollar advertising campaign targeting domestic violence. Today, the Minister is saying that kind of publicity is to blame for the pressure CYFS finds itself under. Clearly, Labour is obviously totally confused about its approach.”


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