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Cross party strategy needed on abuse

16 June 2014

Cross party strategy needed on abuse

The Green Party is calling on the Government to join with all political parties in Parliament to develop a national strategy and accord on domestic violence and child abuse, in the wake of a review that shows the current system is not working.

The People’s Report of the Glenn Inquiry into Child Abuse and Domestic Violence out today describes the current system as a ‘hazard to those who use it’.

“Victims of abuse need the Government, and all MPs, to put aside partisan politics and agree to work together on a plan that will make domestic violence victims and children safe,” Green Party women’s spokesperson Jan Logie said.

“The inquiry’s finding that ‘the current system is a hazard to those who use it’ is an indictment on decades of systemic failure.

“The Glenn Inquiry has opened the lid on the toxic connection between child abuse and domestic violence, which the National Government has so far failed to acknowledge.

“Nothing in the Government’s reform of the Family Court, or its Vulnerable Children’s Strategy, is going to make the system safer. In fact in most cases the changes will make the system even more dangerous for victims of abuse.

Judith Collins’ family court reforms are about cost cutting and undermine the protections that were already there.

“Ms Collins removed the Bristol clause which used to ensure the court went through a rigorous assessment process to decide if it was appropriate for a person to have access or custody of their child in cases where there was an accusation of domestic violence.

“Judith Collins has also shelved the work of the Law Commission on alternative trials processes for sexual abuse cases. The Glenn Inquiry has called for a review of the adversarial court system in cases of abuse, to prevent people from being re-victimised.

“The vulnerable children’s’ action plan failed to even draw the connection between vulnerable children and domestic violence.

“The Green Party calls on National, Labour and all other parties in Parliament to form a cross party group to review the entire system to ensure that the culture of violence against women and children is addressed, and the systems that are supposed to protect them are up to the job.

“The Green Party thanks everyone who participated in the inquiry, especially those who told their stories, in the hope that something good would come out of it.

“We join with those people and ask how many deaths, and how many reports do we need before Parliament will do what's needed to make the system safe?” Ms Logie said.

ENDS

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