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Radio NZ Careless about Domestic Violence Figures

Radio NZ Careless about Domestic Violence Figures

The Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) has upheld a complaint that Radio NZ broadcast incorrect statistics about family violence deaths. The incorrect figures claimed that more than twice as many women than men are being killed by family members in New Zealand. Authoritative figures show that almost as many men are killed as women.

Radio NZ relied on old figures published by the Ministry for Social Development that were unreferenced as to their origin. The BSA found that Radio NZ did not take reasonable efforts to ensure their broadcast was accurate. The BSA noted that Radio NZ also ignored a listener’s efforts to point out the figures were wrong.

Hans Laven from community group the Ministry of Men’s Affairs (MoMA) also criticized the Ministry for Social Development for continuing to publish the misleading figures.

“I have written several times to the Ministry for Social Development (MSD) asking them to amend their figures to make clear they are not current and may never have been accurate, but MSD replied they are happy to keep publishing them” Mr Laven said.

Mr Laven accused both Radio NZ and MSD of failing in their social responsibility by spreading misinformation that discounts male victims and harms NZ men.

Mr Laven warned that efforts to reduce family violence would be unsuccessful unless based on a realistic understanding of the problem. He called for Radio NZ to issue a correction and an apology to the many male victims of domestic violence.

ENDS

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