June 26, 2014
Maori children at risk
Hard on the heels of the independent Owen Glenn Inquiry report on child abuse and family violence, the government-appointed Family Violence Death Review Committee has called for a radical change in the way New Zealand responds to its most chronic cases of family violence.
It says there needs to be a a stronger collective response to family violence from the police, the justice system, support services and the general public, rather than expecting the victims of family violence to take action to keep themselves and their children safe.
The committee’s fourth annual report identified 126 deaths from 2009 to 2012 caused by family violence.
It found Maori children were 5.5 times more likely and Pacific children 4.8 times more likely to die from abuse and neglect than children of other ethnicities.
Its recommendations included making non-fatal strangulation a separate crime under the Crimes Act, because it is often a precursor to fatal attacks.
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