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Crime stats must show domestic violence

25 September 2013

Crime stats must show domestic violence

The Government must ensure crime statistics next week show the true extent of domestic violence crime as CYF’s chief social worker confirmed today it is a key driver of child abuse, the Green Party said today.

Women’s Refuge, the Pacific Islands Safety & Prevention Project Inc. and the Shakti Community Council Inc. tonight criticised the police crime statistics for hiding the true incidence of domestic violence by lumping it in with all assaults that occur in the home.

The groups also claim to have noticed a trend of fewer prosecutions, more diversions for serious domestic violence offences, and a trend towards not charging offenders and relying more often on the victim being the evidence provider.

“This comes the same day that CYFS chief social worker Paul Norris wrote of the ‘toxic trio’ of domestic violence, parental substance abuse and untreated mental illness, that has led to a “dramatic rise in notifications of abuse and neglect of children,” Green Party women’s spokesperson Jan Logie said.

“If CYFS blames domestic violence for being one of three key factors in driving increased child abuse, then it is bizarre and wrong that domestic violence is not explicitly mentioned as part of the Government’s vulnerable children’s action plan.

“The National Government has had its head in the sand about the significance of domestic violence on child vulnerability.

“Next week’s annual crime statistics need to clearly show the true incidence of domestic violence crime, and the Government must review police practice for domestic violence in light of the three specialist services concerns.

“It would be a dangerous situation if police are downplaying domestic violence in order to meet their better public service targets.

“The Government ignores domestic violence at the peril of New Zealand women and children.

ends

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