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Every Child Counts welcomes child advocate funding

28 April, 2005
Media statement
For immediate use

Every Child Counts welcomes child advocate funding

Every Child Counts welcomes the government announcement of funding of child advocates to help children who witness domestic violence.

“Children witnessing domestic violence may be better served when the new advocacy positions are filled,” says Beth Wood of Every Child Counts.

Every Child Counts is a coalition of individuals and organisations from all sectors of New Zealand life campaigning to promote children issues in the context of the general election. A reduction of violence to children is a primary aim of Every Child Counts.

“The effects of witnessing partner violence are very damaging to children’s development,” says Beth Wood. “Children are entitled to expect security and love in their home while domestic violence turns it into a place of trauma and terror.

“Far too many New Zealand children witness or experience violence in their own home and their needs have been neglected. The needs of women have been the primary focus of crisis agencies and the police have been focused on the criminal offending.

“If the 45 new child advocates are well trained and have as their sole focus the needs of the children involved an important contribution to protecting children will be made,” said Beth Wood.

Every Child Counts spokesperson Dr Emma Davies says government agencies and non-government organisations need to work together to reduce this violence.

“Perhaps the most critical link in providing services to children caught in the cross-fire of domestic violence is the child advocate,” she says.

“If these child advocates are well supported and have quality wrap-around services to offer, they could make a significant contribution to the safety and well-being of New Zealand’s children.”

ENDS

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