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Compelling Case for Change in Review Committee’s Report

Media Statement

Compelling Case for Change in Review Committee’s Report

The latest report from the Family Violence Death Review Committee represents a compelling case for change to protect those exposed to the most dangerous domestic violence says the Glenn Inquiry into child abuse and domestic violence.

The chairman of the independent inquiry, Bill Wilson QC, says the report echoes many of the real life experiences documented in the Inquiry’s recently published People’s Report.

In particular the FVDRC argues for a greater focus on preventing abusers using violence rather than expecting victims to take action to keep themselves or their children safe.

“A common theme in the stories told in The People’s Report was that victims still find it exceedingly difficult to seek help, they are still not being believed and are often judged,” Mr Wilson said.

A call for radical change to how New Zealand responds, including to the way the law treats domestic violence offending, is common to both reports.

Mr Wilson said the boldness of these suggestions speak to the depth of frustration victims feel about Courts not holding their tormenters to account, and to how markers of escalating violence are not being adequately heeded.

There is also common concern about the normalisation of violence in families, the extra danger women are in when separating from an abusive partner, and the impact on children who witness violence.

“The FVDRC is completely separate from the Glenn Inquiry, and yet it comes to very much the same conclusions as The People’s Report.

“As a community we simply cannot allow the current ‘system’ to continue to fail, resulting in an appalling death toll as well as affecting the tens of thousands of women and children who are denied a safe home environment.”

Training for judges is also highlighted in both reports.

The Glenn Inquiry will produce its recommendations for change in a Blueprint later this year. These will be grounded in the substance and spirit of The People’s Report and underpinned by knowledge drawn from other commissioned work now under way.

“When 35 people, most of them women and children, are losing their lives every year because of domestic violence, it is imperative we all start playing a part, and urgently,” Mr Wilson said.

The messages in The People’s Report are powerful and the direction is clear, he added. “New Zealand needs a profound culture change if it is going to reverse its abuse statistics and protect, save and restore lives.”

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