Release: Govt choosing cost savings over victims of family violence

Victims of family violence could fall through the gaps in New Zealand, as Police stop responding to some call outs and the Government chooses to prioritise other things. 

“Family violence is our national shame. While there were encouraging signs of increased reporting and more prosecutions over the past six years, there is still so much more work to do,” Labour’s spokesperson for prevention of family and sexual violence Ginny Andersen said.

“Police are stepping back, but there is no budget funding for services to fill that gap. Sadly, this will mean more victims of family harm without anyone intervening.

“The Minister responsible, Karen Chhour, admitted at today’s estimates hearing that the Government had chosen not to prioritise family violence work in Budget 2024. 

“On top of this, Police are pulling back from attending some family and domestic violence events, ‘even when health services request police help’ – without any plan from the Government as to who does instead.

“This is another example of the Government making changes without thinking about the consequences and simply repealing without a plan. Ministers even appeared to be at odds. 

“Police Minister Mark Mitchell told this morning’s estimates hearing that Police shouldn’t respond to some family violence call outs. Karen Chhour this afternoon said police should attend but triage to other agencies if they weren’t needed.

“This lack of clarity about who will actually deal with some cases of family violence is worrying.

“Family violence is one of the largest drivers of violent crime. Of the young people who were repeat offenders at the peak in 2022, 95% had been exposed to family violence at some point in their life.

“This Government is not taking family violence seriously. There is no new funding and no plan,” Ginny Andersen said.

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