July 16, 2020
Plan needed to counter lockdown violence
The Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner has called for a national plan to prevent incidents of domestic violence in a pandemic.
In a submission to the United Nations Special Rapporteur’s investigation of violence against women during COVID-19, Saunoamaali'i Dr Karanina Sumeo said a collaborative, victim-centric plan should have the backing of government agencies, NGOs and iwi.
It should include adequate resourcing so victims as well as perpetrators of domestic violence can seek help and rehabilitation is essential during and after a pandemic situation.
She wants a plan in place in case New Zealand goes back into lockdown.
"The United Nations has said in previous reports to us we need to up our game on family violence, especially for tangata whenua. It will be part of my role to ensure that connection happened, but we need to do it urgently, because if we get a resurgence like we've seen overseas, we can't be on the hop again," Dr Sumeo says.
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