'Every 4 minutes' report on domestic violence prevention presented to Government

'Every 4 minutes' report on domestic violence prevention presented to Government
Photo credit: Getty.

New Zealand has a proud history of having world-leading stats in many fields; sports, tech entrepreneurship, science, but it's our leading numbers of domestic violence incidents that are now in the spotlight.

A paper discussing the prevention of family violence was delivered to parliament today by Dr Ian Lambie, the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor for Justice.

It outlined actions that could be taken to reduce the world-high statistics of domestic and intimate partner violence in New Zealand.

The paper is titled Every 4 Minutes, a nod to the fact that a call-out for a family violence incident in New Zealand occurs every four minutes.

The strategies include strengthening economic support for families, changing social norms through media campaigns, and intervening in early childhood to lessen the harm of future risk.

Thirteen women and 10 men on average are killed each year in domestic and partner violence incidents, according to Statistics NZ.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Domestic and Sexual Violence Issues, Jan Logie, said the report is crucial in confirming that New Zealand can turn around its history of terrible statistics.

"We already know the significant trauma family violence causes for children and adults in New Zealand.

"What we need are concrete actions to prevent that trauma and improve the lives of all New Zealanders."

The paper has a strong focus on how to help children from domestic violence situations.

"It also points to the importance of adequate income, housing, and support for parents and wider environmental conditions in our efforts to reduce violence."

The report is part three of a series exploring New Zealand's high incarceration rate.

The previous reports focused on the use of restorative justice instead of incarceration and the rates of youth offending and how to get them down.

Chief Science Advisor for the Prime Minister, Professor Juliet Gerrard, said the report is just a starting point but she hopes it will be supported with further research.

"We hope that it will stimulate more research from different groups with different perspectives and world views, especially from Māori and Pasifika researchers."

She wants the data to raise questions and new answers and hopefully reverse some of the trauma caused to children and families due to domestic violence.