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Thread: Domestic violence

  1. #1
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    Default Domestic violence

    Christchurch family violence 'out of control'
    17 March 2006
    By JANINE BENNETTS

    Domestic violence in Christchurch is "out of control", with police investigating more than 400 domestic callouts each month, the region's police chief says. Canterbury Police District Superintendent Sandra Manderson told the Christchurch City Council yesterday that family violence rates in the city were too high.

    "Violence is occuring on the streets, but there is also much violence happening in the homes as well and that has an impact on the children," Manderson said. Violent crime, which includes domestic offences, cost Christchurch more than $11 million last year, police said.

    Christchurch Women's Refuge manager Annette Gillespie said police and agencies dealt with more than 100 domestic violence reports a week, and that number was only 5 per cent to 10% of the real amount of family violence in Christchurch. "It's certainly a chronic problem in our city and chronic in that it's ongoing and we don't seem to be able to find an answer to it," Gillespie said. "Many, many families never come to the attention of the police and many family violence (incidents) don't get outside the family. Silence is the greatest friend of family violence. Silence supports the fear and the fear supports people not being able to get out and get help."

    Gillespie said the incidence of family violence in Christchurch was increasing, but so was public awareness of the problem, and people were increasingly willing to come forward and report cases.

    Inspector John Price, of the Christchurch police, said about 70% of homicides were domestic. "People seem to think violence is on the street but a large proportion of violent crimes occur in the home," Price said. A big concern was that children were often caught up in domestic disputes. "The majority of the time it's going to be involving adults in some kind of relationship. However, because quite often children are there, children are involved as well. That's where the cycle of domestic violence occurs."

    Price said police had a zero tolerance approach to domestic violence and tried to make sure cases were dealt with in court. Domestic violence was a social issue that police could not deal with alone. "Police officers are police officers. We're there to enforce the legislation ... we're not quasi- teachers or quasi-social workers. That requires experts," Price said.

    Gillespie said the whole community needed to work together to reduce family violence in Christchurch. "What we need to do as a community is acknowledge the extent of family violence in our community and then we need to take some responsibility as a community for it," she said.

    Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore said councillors, police and agencies needed to work together. "Family violence is a hidden and insidious thing that people take in their hearts often and we don't hear about it," Moore said. "Our community strategies should be addressing that sort of issue."

    At yesterday's council meeting police also presented some strategies for reducing crime in Christchurch. Violent crime, including domestic offences, makes up 11% of crime in the city. Price said crime in central Christchurch had dropped 5.4% in the year ending June 30 2005 from the previous year and Christchurch had the lowest violent crime rate of any district in the country at 84 violent crimes per 10,000 people.

    Police identified three areas of major concern in the city on weekends ? Kivers Lane and the City Mall amphitheatre; the Bridge of Remembrance and The Strip, and Colombo Street and the City Mall. Price said police wanted the council to improve lighting or close off certain areas at night to improve the problem spots.

    "These sort of things are social and very hard to fix," Price said. "You're never going to make the big inroads until you involve other agencies."
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    Default Violence in Christchurch

    Government mulls database of children
    20.03.06 1.00pm

    The Government is considering setting up a database of every New Zealand child, enabling authorities to be alerted to any problems.

    Personal details, including welfare and health concerns, would be entered into the database, which would be shared by health authorities, schools, and social agencies, The Dominion Post reported today.

    Social Development Minister David Benson-Pope told the newspaper he had sought advice in setting up the scheme to ensure children do not fall through gaps and monitoring of young people is as coordinated as possible.

    The programme has been welcomed by Families Commission chief commissioner Rajen Prasad, New Zealand Principals Federation president Pat Newman, and Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro.

    "We've got to get to a point where we stop picking up the pieces when everything goes wrong and start putting things in place to stop it from happening," Ms Kiro said.

    But the chairman of New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties Michael Bott said attempts by the Government to gather information about issues such as abuse would be an invasion of privacy.

    So? They just ignore it and let the perpetrators get on with it?
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    Default Violence in Christchurch

    Domestic violence figures 'disturbing', judge says
    27.03.06 4.00pm

    Figures on domestic violence in New Zealand present a disturbing picture, Principal Family Court Judge Peter Boshier said at a hui on the issue today in Auckland today. In the seven weeks from November 20, 2005 to January 3, 2006, six women were killed by their partners or previous partners, Judge Boshier said in his speech at Te Unga Waka Marae in Epsom.

    "To my understanding, these deaths left 19 children orphaned by domestic violence. There was also one child who died as a result of injuries sustained through family abuse," he said. The domestic violence hui (meeting) was held to commemorate the introduction of the Domestic Violence Act, which came into force 10 years ago, and to address the growing issue of violence within the home.

    Judge Boshier said domestic violence was a scourge which must be addressed by the whole of society. "Over half of the murders in New Zealand are the result of domestic violence. Police statistics show a growing rate of call-outs to domestic disputes. The number in 2002-2003 was 24,700. In 2004-2005 it was 30,692."

    During December 2005 and January 2006, police attended nearly 11,000 family violence incidents, in which 6000 children individually witnessed that violence. "That is one incident every eight minutes," he said. In the same period, Child, Youth and Family received around 10,000 reports of suspected child abuse.

    "It is impossible to over-emphasise the importance of a nurturing home environment for children, and nothing so damages that environment as family violence." He reminded the audience that domestic violence was often under-reported. "If that is so, the real figures must be quite horrific."

    Although figures indicated domestic violence was increasing, the number of protection orders granted by the Family Court was declining. Judge Boshier said any criticism of the Domestic Violence Act or courts should be met head-on. "If there are criticisms that are valid, the only way we can improve and begin to rectify the situation is to meet them head-on, acknowledge where improvements can be made, and make the necessary changes."

    He said some of the criticisms, particularly regarding delays and lack of access, had not been without foundation and had required, and continued to require, attention. The judge said domestic violence was "a terrible tragedy" in the lives of those who suffered it "and an indictment of the society that produces it". He added: "The Family Court and the justice system as a whole have an important role in responding to it when it occurs. We used to say of ourselves that New Zealand was the greatest country in the world to bring up children. If that was ever true, we cannot be so proud or complacent now. Domestic violence has become an issue for all New Zealanders."
    Mother Bear

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    tottefan is offline Senior Member
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    Default Violence in Christchurch

    It's strange because I remember reading in the Daily Mail a few months ago that the number of female murder victims in the UK has been falling in the last 2 or 3 decades because of a fall in domestic abuse. The article went on to say that it is male violence, particularly involving criminal gangs, which has exploded in the UK and caused the general rise in the murder rate.

    So, from stats it seems that domestic violence is less of a problem in Britain than in the past, but more of a problem in NZ. I wonder if it's because domestic abuse is no longer tolerated in Britain, mainly because women are now able to seek help and divorce is easier. Perhaps the problem in NZ is that there isn't the support for women and such abuse is still tolerated. :icon_eek:


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    Default Violence in Christchurch

    New Zealand is the first country in the world to grant voting rights to women so I am sure there are some form of support to women. Women rights according to what I understand is a very important discussion in New Zealand and heavily advocated.

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    netchicken is offline Senior Member
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    Default Violence in Christchurch

    I am sick of all those people committing domestic violence!
    If I get my hands on then I'll rip their arms off and beat them to death with it!

    Actually the reason is that fewer people own dogs now.

  7. #7
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    Default Violence in Christchurch

    Could be a space issue, as Kiwi cities expand, people are feeling more trapped and frustrated. Must be quite a thing considering how under-populated NZ has been, to how jam packed it's getting in some cities now.
    Taffy

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    Default Violence in Christchurch

    Spotlight on Hamilton now.

    Violence hits 30 Hamilton families a week
    27 June 2006
    By GEOFF TAYLOR

    More than 30 Hamilton families each week are referred by police to authorities because their children are in danger through domestic violence. And each week about 165 Hamilton women seek help from women's refuges. The depressing statistics come as police look for answers to the tragic, violent deaths of Auckland twins Cru and Chris Kahui.

    Hamilton authorities say there are many families under huge pressure in the city. They urged them to ask for help before problems boiled over and more tragedies occurred. Rena Marshall, a child advocate for the Hamilton family safety team, said Parentline had up to 35 referrals from police a week. Some weekends, police referred up to 100 cases involving children.

    Weekends when there were big events in the city such as rugby games tended to be worse. 'People seem to be hyped up by the event,' she said. There were 97 referrals on Anzac Weekend. She also attributed the domestic violence to alcohol and drugs.

    Ms Marshall said despite the headlines created by the Kahui deaths, domestic violence would continue largely unnoticed until more resources were put into the problem. The family safety team is a multi-agency initiative targeting domestic violence involving police, the Justice Ministry, Child, Youth and Family, and community organisations.

    Ruahina Albert, service manager for Hamilton's two women's refuges, called for education to prevent domestic violence and more input from the community. 'Not doing anything isn't helpful. When families keep information isolated, we are going to have more deaths.'

    Gayle McLean, manager of Parentline's Maori agency Te Ropu Awhina, said the organisation had a range of ways to help families. It already received many self-referrals and sometimes all that was needed was temporary relief for stressed parents. Mrs McLean said staff had heard lots of judgment being passed over the last week since the twins' deaths.

    'We don't normally make statements but we feel quite strongly about this, primarily because of some of the judgments that are getting made in the community which we think will stop families coming forward.'

    Mrs McLean said families needed to know they could go to someone they trusted. 'Who can you go through to support you through this without getting judged'. Mrs McLean said funding for more workers was needed and more agencies needed to be trained in child protection.

    Yesterday, Parentline chief executive Maxine Hodgson suggested the organisation might offer rewards to encourage people to report child abuse.
    Mother Bear

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    tottefan is offline Senior Member
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    Default Violence in Christchurch

    The solution is simple: ban old-fashioned attitudes towards male dominance and make it easier and more convenient for women to separate from their partner by offering them better support. This would go a long way to improving the domestic abuse problem in NZ.

    No women in the 21st century should feel compelled to stay with an abusive partner. In the past, when women were downtrodden and divorce was extremely hard to obtain, such abuse had to be tolerated by women as there was no viable way out for them. In this day and age, domestic abuse is not tolerated by most Western countries, as attitudes towards women and relationships have changed. Surely NZ has to change with the times?


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    Default Re: Violence in Christchurch

    Domestic violence incidents double usual number
    By HELEN MURDOCH - The Press | Saturday, 6 January 2007

    Nelson Bays police are trying to halt a spiral of family violence. From this month a new full-time family violence co-ordinator will work with Child, Youth and Family (CYF) and Women's Refuge staff.

    Area commander Inspector Brian McGurk said police dealt with 59 incidents of family violence over the holiday period, double the usual number. "We want to intervene as soon as possible. Family violence perpetrates a history of violence, puts kids at risk, limits the outcomes of children and is over-represented against women," he said.

    Alcohol was one of the main contributing factors and 37 per cent of all incidents in the region involved repeat offenders. The number of reports of domestic violence in the region had been increasing, he said.

    McGurk said this was positive because it indicated increased trust in the police handling of cases, greater community condemnation of violence and a more receptive attitude by police. "Work we have been doing for the last two years is bearing fruit, now we want to make some headway."

    McGurk said the new co-ordinator would also be involved with such agencies as Community Probation and Work and Income. He hoped reported cases would drop to single figures in a year or two.

    Christchurch Police family safety team supervisor Sergeant Phil Newton said similar co-ordinated weekly meetings had been held in the city from last February. The initiative had sprung from high-profile death reviews, which had revealed individual agency knowledge about family risk had often not been shared. "We believe police only know about 15% to 18% of domestic violence cases," said Newton. "As a result of the knock-on effect of shared information, we expect the number of reported cases to rise."

    Newton said the shared information had highlighted the number of high-risk families and repeat offenders, and lowered the amount of duplicate work by individual agencies. "Sometimes agencies were getting called to the same family 20 times a year."

    However, December and January were always a busy time for family services, he said. "Usually we deal with 450 to 480 cases a month. In December, it was up to 500 and January will also increase."

    Risk families tended to hold things together in a "show of tranquillity", which often collapsed in the new year, he said. Newton said family violence occurred across the community, but more cases were reported from lower socio-economic families.

    "We believe it is hidden among families which are more affluent; partners tend to have more to lose if a complaint is made and can afford to call in private intervention. And it is still a social stigma for them, so they don't talk about it."

    Nationally, the number of arrests for family violence has increased steadily with 18,305 people charged in 2005, compared with 9311 in 1996. During December and January 2005-06, police attended almost 11,000 incidents of family violence.
    Mother Bear

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