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Family Violence Figures a Massive Challenge



Family Violence Figures a Massive Challenge

Women’s Refuge says the major increase in family violence crimes in 2007 shows the massive challenge facing the country and all agencies dealing with domestic violence.

The Chief Executive of the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges, Heather Henare, says the more than 30-percent increase in reported family violence crimes is deeply alarming

Ms Henare says part of the increase may be higher reporting driven by the “It’s Not Ok” campaign launched in September.

However, she says the underlying fact is that the scale of family violence in New Zealand is at an epidemic level, and will require significant resources and investment before it is turned around.

“I have been heartened this year to see the Government providing some more funding for Women’s Refuge and other groups.”

“But we are still some way from receiving funding that will allow us to have the programmes, staff and resources to truly respond to the scale of this problem and make sure sustained change happens.”

Ms Henare says there is also very clearly a responsibility on all individuals, families and communities to be playing their part in countering domestic violence.

“We’re seeing one woman die every 26 days at the hands of her partner or former partner, while countless others are injured and scarred every single day.”

“The cost on children experiencing and witnessing this violence is also huge.”
“We’re simply condemning our next generation to another cycle of violence if we don’t make the commitment and investment now to really break it, once and for all.”

Ms Henare says behaviours and attitudes that tolerate or turn a blind eye to family violence have absolutely no place in New Zealand society.


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