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New report finds a third of New Zealand women suffer physical or sexual intimate partner violence

A new report highlights the "substantial impact" caused by family violence in New Zealand and calls for action to address it.

The report on preventing family violence and reducing incarceration rates was released today by the Chief Science Adviser to the Justice Sector, Dr Ian Lambie.

Family violence thwarts a parent's ability to "nurture their children in the way they desire," the report says.

"Managing feelings (especially aggression), information-processing, reading social cues, and problem-solving skills can all be hampered by the extremely high levels of stress that children experience."

The report also points to the likelihood of intergenerational transmission of violence, neglect and maltreatment, with violence "normalised". 

It states that intimate partner violence is the "leading cause of female homicide death and the most common type of violence that women experience". 

One third of New Zealand women experience physical or sexual intimate partner violence, rising to over half when emotional abuse is included. 

Fourteen per cent of men have experienced physical violence and 47.3 per cent have had psychological violence in their relationships. 

The report recommends enhancing parent support and skills and providing quality early childhood care and education.

"We need to challenge social norms that relate to violence; not allow economic disadvantage to hamper non-violence; build workforce capacity in prevention and intervention; and enhance support for skilled parenting, quality early childhood care and education, and, where necessary, intervention for individual children and families," the report said.

Dr Lambie said today family violence was a "significant problem in Aotearoa New Zealand", and it should be seen as an issue impacting "people just like you and me".

He said people feel trapped in cycles of violence, and the New Zealand system does little to get them out of those cycles. 

"We already know the significant trauma family violence causes for children and adults in New Zealand. What we need are concrete actions to prevent that trauma and improve the lives of all New Zealanders," Domestic and Sexual Violence Issues Under-Secretary Jan Logie said. 

"The priorities set out in the paper include a strong focus on repairing the harm done to our children; the need for media and awareness-raising campaigns to challenge social norms and focus on prevention; and the investment required in our workforce to ensure we the necessary integration and collaboration."

"It also points to the importance of adequate income, housing, support for parents and wider environmental conditions in our efforts to reduce violence. We have to look at the big picture."

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    A new report has lifted the lid on New Zealand’s shocking family violence rates. Source: 1 NEWS


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