Domestic violence is widespread across New Zealand. Photo/NZME
Rum raids, gangs, and random thefts may be drawing all the headlines, but the more insidious crime epidemic is affecting far more of the population.
One child dies every five weeks in this country due to domestic violence. This does not take into account the many cases of violence that go unreported every day.
Dr Janet Fanslow, associate professor at the University of Auckland, said: front page podcast Police face approximately 130,000 domestic violence cases each year.
“At a population level, we’re looking at a problem that affects about one in three women in their lifetime,” she says.
“There is a great intersection between violence against women in partnerships and child abuse and neglect.”
Fanslow says the lack of attention to the issue may be due to a sense of “desperation and inevitability around family and sexual violence issues.”
The reality is that domestic violence is not inevitable.
“The evidence actually points in the other direction, showing that family and sexual violence are preventable problems, but we really need to invest in solutions to them. If only we could focus more sustainably on serious partner violence and children’s issues…abuse and neglect, we could go somewhere else.”
Domestic violence is so prevalent that the actual number of incidents reported to the police is often only a fraction of what really goes on behind the scenes.
According to Fanslow, some estimates suggest that the actual rate of cases being reported to the police may be only 20% of the cases that actually occur in the community.
Domestic violence comes in many forms, many of which do not involve physical violence.
“It can be physical violence, it can be sexual, it can also be psychological, including humiliation and intimidation. It can also be financial abuse and limiting contact with family and friends. , it also controls different behaviors, which is part of the problem: it’s very insidious and can take many different forms.”
While the government has taken steps to address the pervasive nature of domestic violence, Fanslow said more needs to be done.
“The government has invested significantly in the areas of tackling family and sexual violence. This shows the government’s priorities: they are also putting together a new national strategy focused on family and sexual violence prevention, and working to build a stronger infrastructure around it. increase.”
But all this investment is the result of years of underinvestment.
“Part of the challenge is that much of this funding is helping to cover services that have been underfunded for many years.
Listen to today’s episode of front page To hear more about why we are doing so badly when it comes to domestic violence and what we can do to protect and prevent it.
• The Front Page is the New Zealand Herald’s daily news podcast, available weekdays at 5am.
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12561163&ref=rss The Front Page: Hidden crime wave New Zealand doesn’t want to debate