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Children pay the price for family violence

For immediate release

Children pay the price for family violence

Friday’s (sub: Nov 25) White Ribbon day, which aims to end family violence against women, serves as a reminder not to forget the children when it comes to matters of domestic abuse.

Child abuse advocates, Child Matters say unfortunately, intimate partner violence and child abuse is inextricably linked.

Child Matters General Manager Relationships and Operations, Jane Searle says in approximately [1]65% of child abuse cases reported to Child Youth and Family, there are also occurrences of intimate partner violence.

“In 70% of intimate partner violence cases, the children are also being abused. Even if children are not physically abused, their exposure to violence, and violence occurring in their home, can cause serious harm,” Ms Searle says.

She says at least [2]one in four adults has experienced childhood trauma or abuse, family violence or sexual assault.

“It is not always easy to tell if a child is being hurt or is at risk, but we strongly urge anyone who may have concerns about a child to speak up.”

There is no quick fix for child abuse and Child Matters believes Government organisations, Police, community groups, businesses, Maori and health organisations, individuals and members of the public all play a role in keeping children safe.

“There is not one agency that can do it alone and it’s up to everyone in the community to take responsibility for any worries that they have regarding a child. If you have any concerns at all about the safety of a child, please contact Child Youth and Family (0508 FAMILY) or the Police as it could make all the difference.”

Child Matters is a national charitable trust dedicated to the prevention of child abuse. The organisation provides training, consultation, policy writing and advisory services.


[1] Ministry of Justice. (2016). A common approach to understanding family violence risk assessment and management. A discussion document for consultation.

[2] Fanslow, J.L., Robinson, E.M., Crengle, S., & Perese, I. (2007). Prevalence of child sexual abuse reported across a cross-sectional sample of New Zealand women. Child Abuse and Neglect, volume 31.

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