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Stats cast a dark shadow over White Ribbon Day

Sue MORONEY
Women’s Affairs Spokesperson                        
 
25 November 2012                                                    

MEDIA STATEMENT  

Stats cast a dark shadow over White Ribbon Day
 
The revelation that family violence related deaths in New Zealand have increased by more than 50% since 2008, casts a dark shadow over White Ribbon Day today, says Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney.

Police annual reports reveal that there were 27 family violence deaths reported in 2011, and an OIA  request received by Labour shows a shocking 67 “homicide and related offences” (includes both actual deaths and attempted murder) between 2011-2012.

“That increase is harrowing. Any Government truly committed to helping victims of family violence would take these figures as an instruction to take stock, and take action.
 
“Instead, under National, police have actually stopped effectively reporting family violence statistics and have admitted that current statistics for family violence "offences" are no longer able to give meaningful comparisons across time.
 
“Action to halt family violence requires an understanding of the gravity of the situation we are in. Confusing the data is the oldest trick in the book. It’s a trick for a government that wants to hide bad news or muddy a lack of progress.
 
The statistics police are collecting as a part of Family Violence Investigations Reports (FVIRs) are said to be “provisional” and not in line with the “gold standard” threshold of official crime statistics, and as such not robust enough for public release.
 
“What we do know is that between January 2011-October 2012 there were 77,521 family violence investigations where at least one offence occurred. That boils down to 125 cases of family violence every day of every week over those 20 months."

“National’s approach to family violence is characterised by the underfunding of services, including rape crisis and our frontline police.

“Women’s Affairs Minister, Jo Goodhew, needs to be held to account for these dire statistics. Police Minister Anne Tolley needs to front up to the needs for proper resourcing within our police force. Both women are in positions of power and must advocate for those in need.
 
“Too many New Zealanders are dying at the hands of their loved ones. On this White Ribbon Day I am calling on the women who have a voice in Government, to use it.”

ENDS

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