A great place to bring up kids – yeah right!

New Zealand’s reputation as a great place to bring up kids is taking some big blows.

Fourteen women, six men and ten children are killed by a member of their family every year on average.

Now the Government is considering making family violence a stand-alone offence.

Domestic violence is gaining the attention of the Vatican.

Last year, a Catholic psychologist who met with the Pontifical Council for the Laity said violence between partners is a massive problem globally.

In June Pope Francis said Family separation can be “morally necessary”.

Catholics will be looking to the Synod on the Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and the Contemporary World hoping that the Synod will provide some practical pastoral insights that will address the causes of domestic violence.

Former chief Family Court judge, Peter Boshier, who is now also a Law Commissioner, says that while changes in the law may help what is really needed is a change in attitude.

Anti-family violence advocates say they would support a specific criminal charge for domestic abuse, but it should not be seen as a silver bullet.

On Sunday Justice Minister Amy Adams promised a crackdown on family violence but further details will not be released until later in the week in a discussion paper.

Family violence-related offences are likely to be reclassified, which would make it easier for agencies to keep track of statistics, she said.

The level of domestic violence in New Zealand is disturbing:

  • A report by UN Women was released in 2011 canvassed 22 developed nations about subjects including domestic violence and maternal mortality. New Zealand was ranked either at or near the bottom of the countries in the study in both areas.
  • New Zealand has had the highest rate of intimate partner violence out of 14 OECD countries in the decade 2000 to 2010.
  • The Family Violence Review Committee report revealed 139 people, including 37 children, died from family violence and related homicides between 2009 and 2012 – an average of 35 a year.
  • Figures released in June this year showed police conducted more than 100,000 investigations into family violence in 2014.
  • 41 percent of all police response time deals with domestic violence.
  • Government spends an estimated $1.4 billion each year addressing family and sexual violence.

It has been estimated that  90 per cent of family violence goes unreported.

Trevor McGlinchey, the executive office of the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS) has pointed out that, “Some government funded social services organisations report it’s been over ten years since they last received a cost of living allowance for the services they deliver.”

“The increase in inflation over that period is over 27%.”Read his full blog



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News category: New Zealand, Top Story.

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