Topics: Child Abuse, Domestic Violence

Major overhaul needed to reduce domestic violence and child abuse

updated By Te Kāea

Attitudes and behaviour of frontline staff dealing with domestic violence or child abuse need major improvement.

This was just one of the many issues identified in ‘The People's Report’ released today as part of the independent Glenn Inquiry into domestic violence and child abuse.

The report itself was compiled using information from 500 people affected by abuse and violence and those involved in frontline services.

Those who participated identified that seeking help was “exceptionally difficult for victims” and far too often they were confronted by “insensitive and judgemental staff” who generally lacked knowledge regarding child abuse and domestic violence.

The court system was also labelled as dysfunctional in which people identified unprofessional behaviour, poor communication, confrontational court processes and protection orders not being enforced as further issues adding to the problem.

Some of the suggestions made to help improve areas of weakness included adopting a zero-tolerance approach to domestic violence and child abuse.  Focus more on the children and protecting all people affected by it and overhauling systems and services, especially the justice and legal systems.

Families Commissioner Belinda Milnes says the People’s Report confirms what we already know about the impacts of domestic violence.

In a statement released today she says, “The report demonstrates the importance of quality relationship education in schools, which has been shown to be a primary prevention factor that will reduce abuse and violence over time.

It also confirms that child abuse often goes hand in hand with domestic violence.  And it reinforces the need to change behaviours and say that alcohol abuse and violence are not a normal part of home life.”

“I look forward to the economic analysis and the blueprint solutions report later this year.  These upcoming reports have the potential to make a significant contribution to the issue."