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Political capital out of family violence - not ok

It’s not okay to make political capital out of family violence

Hon Tariana Turia, Associate Minister of Social Development

Tuesday 15 December 2009

Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee on Family Violence, Hon Tariana Turia, today expressed great disappointment at political point-scoring around family violence by Labour Opposition MP, Annette King.

“One death in a domestic violence situation is a tragedy, and we should be working in a united front to address domestic violence.

“It’s also mischievous to play with statistics without sourcing them”. 

The latest Family Violence statistics released by the Police for 2008/09 show of the 54 homicide offences classed as murders, 23 were recorded as family violence murders. 

It’s Still Not Ok

“I want to assure the public, that the ‘it’s not ok’ campaign is continuing.  In fact there will be an added emphasis over Christmas, as we all know that this is a time when financial stress exacerbates existing tensions in families”.

 “I give full credit to those campaigners who have done much to promote awareness that violence is neither normal nor acceptable in any setting.

 “However, despite the high recall of message, recent research informs us that New Zealanders feel that although they would want to act, they would actually be unlikely to act, or are unsure of how to act  (Attitudes Survey, MSD, 2009).

“The challenge before us then, is what next after awareness?”

Investment in Action

 “We want to move beyond a PR campaign, to focus on practical actions that families can take to keep each other safe”.

 “This Government has given priority to practical strategies, through family violence services in the Community Response Fund; and the E Tu Whanau Ora campaign which I launched last week”.

Last month I also announced the ‘Family Violence – Whanau Ora Fund’ for services that focus on families as a whole (rather than just perpetrators or just victims).

“This fund extends on the concept of victim advocates – a proposal introduced in Budget 2008 but without the detail of implementation.  I am wanting to improve the provision and delivery of support services to victims within the greater context of families”.

“Unfortunately Labour failed to put aside sufficient resource to help people develop the willingness, confidence, and capacity to take the action to put an end to violence”.

Need for a Broader Approach

“We need a far more in-depth approach to family violence than simply a money-scramble approach.

The principal Family Court Judge, Judge Peter Boshier, has been calling for a radical re-think in domestic violence prevention and intervention and, questioning whether what we are currently doing is making the difference.

“This Government is committed to taking a far broader approach to victim support, to strengthen families, and to empower families and individuals with the tools to take action”

Hon Tariana Turia has delegated responsibility for the government’s response to addressing and reducing the impact of family violence.



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