Women's Refuge slams All Blacks coach Steve Hansen for 'old-fashioned and out-dated' remarks

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen is under fire after saying domestic violence "is not a gender thing" in New Zealand.

The All Blacks coach, who is also a former police constable, made the comments in defence of Crusaders wing Sevu Reece who last year admitted to one count of "male assaults female".

"I don't think there's one New Zealander that wouldn't have put him in the team," Hansen told Radio Sport.

"Having been a policeman I've seen a lot of this... and I know it's not just restricted to the male - women assault males. It's not a gender thing."

However, Women's Refuge CEO Ang Jury told The AM Show Hansen's response is behind the times.

"He's referring to ideas that are old, debunked, based on his experience as a police officer some 20-odd years ago."

Jury says evidence that domestic violence in New Zealand is largely perpetrated by men is unequivocal.

"It's a gendered problem that New Zealand has. There is no statistic available that demonstrates anything other than that.

"It would be disingenuous of me to suggest that women can't be violent... of course they can. But we know that women are hurt more often, they're hurt more seriously and they fear their partners more than men do."

While Jury was reticent to judge whether Reece should be included in the All Blacks, she says New Zealand Rugby should reflect on whether they are providing society with a good example of how to treat the issue of domestic violence.

"We had the rugby union talking for some time now about the fact they were working on inclusivity and respect... attitude change has to start from the top. Steve Hansen is, arguably, the top man in New Zealand Rugby. 

"Now if he's holding attitudes like this which are old-fashioned and out-dated - sorry Steve - then how's that programme working for them?"