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Changes urgently needed to protect women and children

David Cunliffe
Labour Leader

16 June 2014

Changes urgently needed to protect women and children

There must be a radical culture change across government and the community if we are to address the disturbing and ongoing level of violence against women and children in New Zealand, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.

“The Glenn Inquiry report released today paints an unacceptable and harrowing picture of life for our woman and children.

“If we are to protect women and children from violence there must be a radical culture change across government, along with a profound attitude shift in society.

“It is appalling this much-needed inquiry had to be conducted by a private entity because the Government lacks leadership on this issue. Ending child abuse and domestic violence requires a strong commitment and comprehensive action.

“Only 17 per cent of child abuse and domestic violence incidents are reported, yet the figures are still heart-breaking. According to the Women’s Refuge 14 women and 10 children are killed by a member of their family every year. Almost 75,000 children a year are present at domestic violence incidents attended by police.

“The Government’s responses have been tardy and piecemeal. At the same time, the domestic violence sector has been chronically underfunded. Women’s refuges are struggling in the face of increasing demand for their help.

“The Government needs to look at the effectiveness of existing court orders, the way the issue of consent is dealt with in court and the manner in which the justice system handles domestic violence and sexual violence cases. The level of and quality of support for victims must also be reassessed, along with resourcing of preventative education.

“Labour will put politics aside and work with the Government in any way we can, including working on a cross-party accord. This issue is far too important to be side-lined by political bickering,” David Cunliffe says.

ENDS

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