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New family violence research welcomed

New family violence research welcomed

The Families Commission welcomes new research that estimates the cost of domestic violence to New Zealand employers at $368 million this year.

The Snively report calculates potential productivity gains from implementing workplace protections to support victims of domestic violence.

The Families Commission has a long track record in this sector, and has spent much of the past decade at the forefront of New Zealand’s efforts to curb family violence. Ms Milnes says there needs to be greater emphasis on finding out what works and what doesn’t - and to put money into what does work in order to make a difference.

Families Commissioner Belinda Milnes says, “Family violence is a huge issue for this country and this is a further wake-up call about what it’s costing us financially and socially - year after year, generation after generation.

“It’s estimated that family violence costs this country $8 billion each and every year.”

“Nearly 60% of all violent crime is family violence-related, so making a difference here will see New Zealand become a significantly less violent place.”

The Families Commissioner says while Police Crime Statistics released yesterday show violent crime is decreasing, sexual assaults are continuing to increase. She says family violence needs a swift, serious and combined response from us all – families, communities, workplaces, NGOs, local and central government – to make a difference.

“But most importantly, recent research both here and overseas shows the devastating impact on children of being exposed to family violence – even if they are not physically hurt they are deeply scarred. It is strongly linked to a lifetime of poor social and economic outcomes, and increases the chances that they will become the next generation of victims or perpetrators.”

“Family violence is a complex issue. It deserves quality evidence to enable decision makers to make better informed decisions to reduce family violence. Where there are gaps in our knowledge, then they need to be researched and filled.“

The Commission produces family violence research to enable better decisions to be made; is an active member of the interagency Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families; funds the work of the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse (www.nzfvc.org.nz) - the national centre for collating and disseminating information about domestic and family violence; and manages the annual White Ribbon Campaign.

ENDS

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