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Calling on anti-violence activists to step up

MEDIA STATEMENT

27 November 2014

Calling on anti-violence activists to step up

Māori Party co-leaders believe every individual, whānau, hapū and iwi can help stop the high level of family violence that exists in our country.

On average fourteen women are killed every year and hundreds hospitalised. On average one child is killed every five weeks, most of these children are under five years of age and 90 percent of all child deaths are perpetrated by someone the child knew. Police respond to a family violence incident every 5½ minutes.

“We must put a stop to this behaviour by demonstrating leadership. It starts today,” says Māori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell.

“As a witness of domestic violence as a child, I can still vividly recall those memories and know how long-lasting its effects can be. We should never underestimate the negative impact violence has on our lives and those of our whānau,” says Mr Flavell.

“If we are going to eliminate violence in our families we need anti-violence whānau and communities. It’s people like my close friend Te Orohi Paul who passed away last week on her way to the White Ribbon Ride that are prepared to stand up and raise awareness about family violence that make a difference.

The Māori Party has advocated for and initiated a number of prevention programmes over the last six years including E Tū Whānau which supports and builds violence-free families.

“E Tū Whānau is about early intervention, a whole of whānau approach, cultural understanding and community action. As a member of the Cabinet Committee on Social Policy and as a Minister for Whānau Ora, I’m committed to ensuring the Government supports and funds programmes that do make a difference.

For some time our family have battled the scars of the inter-generational impact of family violence, through education, Māori health models and support to our local community. We are profoundly proud of the example the late Te Orihi Paul has left us in her support of the White ribbon campaign. We can all honour her legacy by committing to the drive in a whole of population approach to eliminating Family Violence, ”says Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox.

The Māori Party recognises that the Government also needs to do much more to eliminate family violence. According to the Glenn Inquiry, family violence costs the country between $4.1 billion to $7 billion a year and yet we spend a mere $60 million in response.

“The Crown resources dedicated to preventing family violence and protecting victims is woeful. Until we have a better funded whole-of-government and whole-of-whānau response we will continue to be horrified at the high levels of family violence in our country,” says Mrs Fox.

ENDS.


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