Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


UN calls for community backing for no violence against women

Media release November 16, 2012

UN calls for community backing for no violence against women and children campaign

With the global campaign “16 days of Activism against Gender Violence” about to begin on November 25, a UN representative says statistics from many countries still paint a troubling picture of violence in our societies.

Roberta Clarke, Regional Director for the UN Women Asia and Pacific Regional Office, told the 10th annual World Conference of the International Ombudsman Institute in Wellington that the reported statistics of women who have been victims of domestic violence range from 30% in New Zealand, 33% in Costa Rica, 39% in Turkey and 49% in Bangladesh.

“It is a worldwide issue,” she says. “And women’s organisations have been saying for a long time that violence against women cuts across culture, ethnicity, religion, income and status.”

Roberta Clarke has called on communities to back the campaign which calls for zero tolerance to violence against women.

“It is an important aspiration to build a culture of zero tolerance. We know we may not get to zero incidents of violence against women and children, but what we want is to get to a culture where we understand that there is something manifestly terrible about the violation and recognise that individuals, communities and the state all have a duty to prevent and respond effectively.”

She says communities have to build up accountability.

“Accountability begins with the individual - you control yourself and what you tolerate in your family and community and you say no to violence. But the state also has a role in protecting and preventing violence against women through laws, policies and in modelling zero tolerance for all forms of violence against women.

“Accountability is about ensuring that the state organisations who have the authority to respond - police, judiciary, social workers or health workers - do so effectively, that they do not look away from it saying that’s private or it is too difficult to think about or its cultural. There is no looking away from violence against women. Everyone has a responsibility to act in the context of their mandate.”

Roberta Clarke says over the last twenty years a lot of work has been done to make the issue visible, to reform laws, develop services to respond to the needs of victims/survivors and their families, to build the capacity of the justice sector particularly police, judiciary and prosecutors and to start programmes for perpetrators. All of which can have the effect of transforming culture towards zero tolerance.

“There is a lot more understanding of the issue and the range of responses required to ensure women’s rights to lives free of violence. Over 120 countries have enacted domestic violence legislation. Yet, the numbers appears not to be going down.”

She says this it probably reflects both increased reporting and increased societal violence which is shown through the data on homicides.

“Monitoring is difficult because data collection is deficient. Firstly, there is under-reporting as many women do not go to the police for a number of reasons – embarrassment, mistrust, fear. Often, police collect information just on perpetration and do not record the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator and so you cannot get a sense of what is the real incidence of domestic violence. Courts collect record for their purposes and health sector collects record for theirs purposes but in many countries it is difficult to put together to come up with a true prevalence.”

Roberta Clarke told the meeting of Ombudsman that they have an important part to play in combating violence against women and children.

“Ombudsmen have a significant platform. They are authoritative, credible, respected and they are understood and accepted to be monitors of maladministration, unfairness or arbitrariness in all the countries where they exist. They can provide another avenue for women to get redress.

“We do know that violence against women is underreported, particularly sexual offences, and we do also have a sense that this is linked to the mistrust of police services. The ombudsman can play a major part by working with police units to better understand how their responses are perceived and experienced by complainants and to make suggestions for corrective action.”

She says the distressing story globally is that there is a tremendous attrition between the number of assaults on women to the number of reports made to police, to the investigations, charges, prosecutions and convictions.

“When you have that attrition you are talking about impunity and most rape going unpunished. We think ombudsmen can be one of the forces that help us think about why this impunity exists, why some offences matter than others and what can we do to fix it, to ensure women’s access to justice.”

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Northland By-Election

Supposedly, Winston Peters’ victory in Northland has exposed the simmering dissatisfaction with the government that exists out in the provinces. Yet it remains to be seen whether this defeat will have much significance – and not simply because if and when Labour resumes business as usual in the Northland seat at the next election, Peters’ hold on it could simply evaporate.

On Saturday, National’s electorate vote declined by 7,000 votes, as the 9,000 majority it won last September turned into a 4,000 vote deficit – mainly because Labour supporters followed the nod and wink given by Labour leader Andrew Little, and voted tactically for Peters. In the process, Labour’s vote went down from nearly 9,000 votes six months ago, to only 1,315 on Saturday. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Myth Of Steven Joyce

Gordon Campbell: The myth of competence that’s been woven around Steven Joyce – the Key government’s “Minister of Everything” and “Mr Fixit” – has been disseminated from high-rises to hamlets, across the country... More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: No Public Submissions On International Government Procurement Deal

“The government is preparing to assent to the Government Procurement Agreement, a World Trade Organisation Treaty which opens up New Zealand Government contracts to foreign companies and closes the door on local businesses and their workers. However the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee is refusing to take public submissions on the decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Pacific Spying

So New Zealand spied on its friends and allies in the Pacific – and has not only been passing on the results to the NSA, but has apparently passed on the details of the Pacific’s relations with Taiwan to our other best friends, the Chinese. On the side, the Key government has also been using the security services to gauge the chances of Trade Minister Tim Groser landing the top job at the WTO... More>>

ALSO:

State Housing Transfer: Salvation Army Opts Out

The Salvation Army has decided against negotiating with Government for the transfer of Housing New Zealand stock.
More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news