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Statistics suggest anti-family violence campaigns working

Statistics suggest anti-family violence campaigns working

Friday 17 December 2010

A substantial drop in the number of people experiencing partner violence in New Zealand is evidence that anti-violence campaigns such as “White Ribbon” and “It’s Not OK” are having an impact says the Families Commission.

The Crime and Safety Survey released by the Ministry of Justice today (Friday 17 December) showed that the overall amount of crime had remained stable from 2005 to 2008, but there had been a substantial drop in the incidence of confrontational offences by partners from 22 crimes per 100 adults in 2005, to 14 per 100 in 2008.

“The period covered by this survey coincides with the huge public focus on family and partner violence generated by It’s Not OK and White Ribbon campaigns”, Chief Families Commissioner Carl Davidson says. “Police statistics over the last few years have consistently shown that the number of recorded cases of partner violence has gone up. We have always welcomed this as evidence that more people are willing to report domestic violence, a crime traditionally substantially under-reported.

“But that has always generated the question ‘when will we know if the actual incidence of partner violence is changing?’ The latest NZCASS survey evidence suggests that not only are people more willing to report partner violence, the actual incidence of it has gone down.”

However, with 35 of the 65 murders in New Zealand in the last financial year classified as family violence, Mr Davidson says that anti-violence campaigners cannot sit back and say “job well done.”

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“One murder, one assault, one abuse of a child is too much,” Mr Davidson says. “As a society we must protect our families by continuing to take an active stand against family violence in any form and wherever it occurs.

“Now that we have the evidence that these campaigns are contributing to an actual downturn in the incidence of partner violence, we have to reaffirm our commitment, step up our efforts and do even more so the momentum for family wellbeing is not lost.”


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