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'Collective effort needed' to reduce domestic violence

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Witnessing family violence has complex impacts on children and all too frequently creates yet another generation of violent partners, abused children, and damaged families and communities says the Chief Families Commissioner Belinda Milnes on the launch of this year’s White Ribbon campaign to reduce violence against women.

Witnessing family violence has complex impacts on children and all too frequently creates yet another generation of violent partners, abused children, and damaged families and communities says the Chief Families Commissioner Belinda Milnes on the launch of this year’s White Ribbon campaign to reduce violence against women.

"New Zealand has an appalling record for family violence, with high rates of domestic murders, and high rates of child maltreatment and death," says Belinda Milnes. "We are pleased to support the objectives of the White Ribbon Campaign to help address these issues."

The Families Commission funds the annual campaign to raise awareness with men about domestic violence, funds the work carried out by the Family Violence Clearinghouse to collate and disseminate information and resources, and is an active member of the cross-agency Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families.

"This is a huge, complex and critical issue and it requires the country’s collective effort - including families, workplaces, sports clubs, as well as local bodies and national government - to make a difference.

"The Families Commission’s new focus is to build and increase the use of evidence on family violence across research, government and communities to identify what works and what doesn’t in New Zealand.

"The Commission has just completed a literature review of relationship education programmes in schools. Evidence shows these programmes are one of the most effective ways to prevent intimate partner violence. We want young women to able to recognise and resist violent and unhealthy relationships.

"The Commission is leading the development of Family Violence indicators so we can move beyond counting incidents, and start assessing trends and seeing what programmes and interventions really work."

The Chief Commissioner says the Commission will continue to work with others to use evidence to find ways to get real traction to eliminate the cycle of family violence and poor outcomes in New Zealand.

Ms Milnes says, "Strong, resilient violence-free families are the foundations of healthy communities and a healthy New Zealand so it’s critical issue for us all."

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