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We can’t fix this on our own - Minister Adams on Family Violence

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

‘We cannot fix this on our own. We can’t be in every living room. We don’t want to be in every living room. It takes all of society to have an absolutely zero-tolerance approach to family violence.

‘There is no perfect time to start, there is no perfect solution you can build and then put in place. We simply have to, as a society, say we are not going to continue to allow this to be accepted as something we can’t change.’

Justice Minister Amy Adams told Q+A success will see an increase in reported levels of family violence.

‘success in the first instance is going to see the numbers go up, and that’s something New Zealand has to understand. And the reason I say that is because at the moment we estimate 20% only of the violence that occurs is ever reported. So if we can give more confidence in the system to the victims who are suffering domestic violence to reach out for support, we will see numbers go up. But that is actually the important first step of us driving change. So if the numbers go up, I’m not concerned. What I want to see is a reduction in the very serious level of offending - the homicides, the serious violent assaults. I’m not kidding myself it’s going to happen in a year or two, but over time we absolutely have to see earlier intervention and far less high-level harm being caused.’

The Minister also told the programme there will be more funding to come.

‘Absolutely. Well, there’s absolutely going to be more reform, and those packages are being developed, and actually what we will see from this first set of reform is much better understanding of what services we need to get to which perpetrators and which parts of the country at what stage of the offending so that we can ensure we’re not simply throwing money into the ether; we know exactly what services to provide, where, how to get it to them, what will be the most effective. That work is carrying on now.’

When asked about raising the Youth Court age to 18, the Minister said, ‘Yep, we’ve got this issue we’re looking at around whether the jurisdiction should be included to 17-year-olds. That was part of the recommendations that Anne Tolley received on the setting up of the new Ministry for Vulnerable Children. And Anne Tolley and I are going to take a piece of work around that as part of the full package of reforms to Cabinet shortly, and Cabinet will make its decision.’

Q+A, 9-10am Sundays on TV ONE and one hour later on TV ONE plus 1. Repeated Sunday evening at 11:35pm. Streamed live at www.tvnz.co.nz

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