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Jigsaw supports focus on prevention of abuse

Media statement – for immediate release

Jigsaw supports focus on prevention of abuse in Family Violence Taskforce's first report

Jigsaw (formerly Child Abuse Prevention Services) supports the focus on prevention of abuse taken by the Taskforce for Action on Violence Within Families in their first report released today.

"If the prevention strategies put forward are implemented in close collaboration with communities and continue to be funded in sustainable ways into the long term future, then we can expect a substantial reduction in our society's tolerance of family violence over future generations says Liz Kinley, Jigsaw's Chief Executive (strategic operations).

We have to change deeply entrenched attitudes and behaviours in a society that tolerates and supports violent and abusive behaviour towards children, their mothers and other vulnerable family members".

While Jigsaw is committed to promoting social change that stops all forms of violence and abuse of children, whether perpetrated by men or women, Liz Kinley agrees that starting with a major campaign to stop men's violence in their homes is a useful first step because it will make both children and their mothers safer. "We also look forward to the next stage where the focus will be on preventing all forms of child abuse" says Ms Kinley.

When men hurt and abuse their women partners they are also hurting and abusing their children who witness, and are deeply affected by, the violence around them. Children who grow up living with violence are seriously traumatized. If the violence doesn't stop, they frequently carry these same learned, violent and abusive behaviour patterns forward into their own adult relationships and into the way they parent their own children. And so the cycle of partner abuse and child abuse is passed on across the generations.

Jigsaw knows that change is possible. When men who have been violent and abusive decide to take responsibility, get help to change their behaviour and learn to respect and nurture their partners and their children, family relationships can be transformed and children can blossom.

Liz Kinley says "Jigsaw believes that preventing family violence is everybody's business. The Taskforce's commitment to a comprehensive prevention strategy where government and communities work together in ways that are responsive to the needs and aspirations of all our communities is encouraging. Jigsaw is strongly committed to working with others to build a future New Zealand where all our children are treasured and safe in their families and where family violence is rare and strongly challenged when it occurs".

ENDS

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