Womens refuge saddened but not surprised by 312 deaths

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Womens Refuge says it is not surprised by the announcement of the Family violence Death Review which attributes the deaths of 312 people over 10 years to family violence.

“These tragic deaths are symptomatic of the severity of domestic and family violence in New Zealand. They represent the tip of an iceberg populated by damaged women and children and a society that does not as yet truly understand the dynamics of intimate partner violence, ” says Chief Executive of the National Collective of Independent Womens Refuges Dr Ang Jury.

“I agree with the Ministerial group on Family and Sexual violence calls for an integrated family violence response system.”

Dr Jury says Womens Refuge has for many years been insisting that intimate partner violence is not a set of isolated incidents but a pattern of behaviors that must be considered as such if risk to vulnerable women and children is to be dealt with effectively and perpetrators held to account for their violence.

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“It is time to stop telling victims that it is their job to keep themselves safe. As a society we must all work to keep victims of family violence safe and perpetrators accountable for their behaviours,” she says.

“We share the view of the Review Committee for improved resourcing of specialist family violence services and very much hope that various government reviews currently underway will produce reforms that will mean we won’t be looking at a repeat of such appalling figures in another 10 years.”