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Keeping our children safe requires more action

PRESS RELEASE

12 February 2014

Keeping our children safe requires more action at Government and community level

The national advocacy group, Injury Prevention Network of Aotearoa New Zealand, supports the Salvation Army’s view that the Government needs to place more emphasis on reducing child poverty and domestic violence in New Zealand.

The Salvation Army’s State of the Nation 2014 Report highlights that family violence and child poverty in New Zealand is still too high. This comes just weeks after the findings of the United Nation’sUniversal Periodic Review Working Group that made 155 recommendations with many relating to improving child poverty and domestic violence in New Zealand (up from 64 recommendations in the last report of 2009).

Justine Ropata, General Manager, of the Network says “There is no doubt that New Zealand has a horrific record of child abuse and family violence that in the worst cases leads to hospitalisation and premature death. The Salvation Army’s report shows that between 2008 and 2013 recorded offences of violence and abuse of children rose 68%.

More pressure needs to be placed on politicians and policy makers to improve economic and social policy. We support a preventative approach to policy interventions that focus on improving outcomes for children and their families. Strengthening families and communities is widely recognised as a necessary factor in improving social outcomes.

We believe that there needs to be more resources available at the community level to enable injury prevention practitioners, providers and organisations to find solutions within their communities. We also support that local level solutions require local leadership and are more likely to succeed when they are inclusive of the community voice, including Māori and Pacifica communities.

All children and young people in New Zealand have the right to be kept safe and protected from harm. Injuries are not inevitable; they can be prevented. Exposure to harm (intentional injury – both physical, mental and emotional) can have ongoing negative impacts on children and young people’s health, education, social and economic wellbeing.”

In the year to 30 June 2013 Child, Youth and Family received around 148,000 notifications of possible abuse or neglect, with just over 60,000 requiring further action. Childhood injuries account for approximately 34% of all childhood deaths and 80% of all adolescent and young adult deaths.

The Injury Prevention Network is a national leader in the injury prevention sector, advocating for the reduction and severity of unintentional and intentional injury in New Zealand.

ENDS

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