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Tag Archives: Domestic Violence

Front-Line Workers Needed to Share Views with The Glenn Inquiry

The Glenn Inquiry is an initiative to being people together to make a difference to New Zealand’s on-going problem of child abuse and domestic violence. They want you to become part of the project. Everyone’s opinion counts, but right now the Inquiry especially wants to hear from people who work in the field.

What is the Glenn inquiry ?

The inquiry sets out to find out from those people affected by family violence and child abuse what parts of our system are working well and what parts are not. The aim is to produce a blue print and model for the future.  Not simply good ideas developed with the best of intentions.  Rather they’re after evidence-based information.   The inquiry is wanting to answer this question:

If New Zealand was leading the world in addressing child abuse and domestic violence what would that look like?

The Inquiry will be asking people to describe in their own words and from their own viewpoint—their  lived experience.  It will also gather international research and input from their specially assembled Think Tank team—made of up 23 New Zealanders and 13 overseas members.  Then there is the contribution from people who work everyday responding to family violence and child abuse.  You can check out who’s involved here.

With the best of intentions, successive governments have tried to manage the individual and interconnected factors behind child abuse and domestic violence.   There have been numerous reviews, research exercises, and inquiries. All have included recommendations for changes that need to occur.  However, taking the next step to put recommendations into effect has been slow and ineffective to this date. This is what has motivated businessman and philanthropist Sir Owen Glenn to form the Inquiry.  He wants to see if we can break this impasse and together reap the rewards.

Please take a participatory role and share some of the insights and experiences you have from working on the front  line.

There are a number of strengths to The Glenn Inquiry’s structure and approach.  Independence is one.  It will allow fresh eyes and minds to look for solutions.  It will also help to assess what works, what doesn’t, and where we can improve.

There is a great amount of work to be done. The Inquiry team’s desire, however, is that the project is a people’s inquiry.  The direction and focus will stem from individuals and organisations that come forward to participate.  In doing so we guarantee your participation will be treated with respect and in the strictest of confidence.

If you want to know more, and want to register your name as part of the ‘team’, the team would be thrilled to have you on board.  The first step is to ‘visit’ www.glenninquiry.org.nz and register to connect with Hazel Hape who is leading this important workstream!

Glenn Inquiry into Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Seeks Community Input

In July last year Owen Glenn announced that he would fund an independent inquiry to establish why domestic violence and child abuse remains such a major problem in New Zealand and to identify what needs to be done to address this issue.

If you have personal experience of child abuse or domestic violence or work with those who do the Glenn Inquiry team would like to hear from you!

Visit their newly launched website for more information at www.glenninquiry.org.nz

Follow the link below to check out the first newsletter from the Glenn Inquiry https://glenninquiry.org.nz/uploads/files/TheGlennInquiry_Newsletter.pdf



Law Change to Acknowledge Economic Abuse

‘Economic abuse’ to be put on par with domestic violence

Women’s Refuge says a law change to put economic abuse – such as excessive control over the purse strings – on a par with violent abuse will help to counter the view that only physical abuse amounts to domestic violence.

“Economic abuse” will be included in the definition of domestic violence in major reforms to the Family Court which went before Parliament last week.

Examples of economic abuse include restricting access to money, extorting or spending someone else’s money, or preventing someone from working.

Link to The NZ Herald: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10851760

Changes to the Crimes Act from March 19

The following is an excerpt from Margret Barnett-Davidson’s recent article in Kai Tiaki Nursing NZ, February 2012, Vol 18 No 1, p 31.

“…The changes expand the legal duties of those caring for children and increase the maximum penalty for this offence. As part of the recent changes, however, from March 19, the Crimes Act includes a new offence against a new group defined as “vulnerable adults” who, like children, for various reasons are not able to remove themselves from a risk of serious harm.

The changes to the Act include the repeal of the offence of Cruelty to a Child (section 195), replacing this with Ill-treatment or Neglect of Child or Vulnerable Adult (s195), and the new offence of Failure to Protect Child or Vulnerable Adult (s195A).

It is the latter new offence which nurses, midwives and caregivers need to be aware of, as it creates potential criminal liability for a failure to protect a vulnerable person from the potential actions of others – a crime of omission – rather than the more usual crime of commission.

The elements of the new offence have wide reaching implications for health-related institutions and practitioners.”…

Blow the Whistle on Domestic Violence

Watch the Blow the Whistle Campaign Video here.

The ‘Blow The Whistle‘ campaign is a Mental Health Foundation initiative highlighting the Rugby World Cup event as a way of drawing attention to domestic violence, one of the main causes of mental health trauma in our society today.

It is also widespread.  One in three women said they had experienced family violence in their lifetimes as part of a 2004 study interviewing over 2000 women in Auckland and the Waikato (1).

Another more recent US study (August 2011) showed that if a woman was exposed to 3 or 4 types of violence (like  rape, sexual assault and stalking), the rate of mental disorders went up by 77.3%: for anxiety it went up by 52.5%, for mood disorder 56.2%, and suicide attempts went up 34.7%

When it comes to big sports events like the Rugby World Cup, the amount of violence against women and children goes up! A recent report from the United Kingdom states that incidents of family violence increase by as much as 30% on the days of England’s fixtures during the 2006 FIFA World Cup (3). A recent NZ paper states ‘…for some women and children, the Rugby World Cup may bring increased risks of violence, abuse and neglect’.(4)

So the risk to mental health issue is big and it’s likely to get bigger once the Cup is underway!

What can we do?

  • Talk about it where you work or within groups you run.
  • Put up posters: order them free from info@blowthewhistle.org.nz . There are also some whistles and coasters available at a cost.
  • Write a letter to the local newspaper
  • Support the campaign at any matches you attend.

Go to  www.blowthewhistle.co.nz for more information.


  1. Fanslow J, Robinson E. Violence against women in New Zealand: prevalence and health consequences. N Z Med J. 2004;117(1206).
  2. Rees S Silove D et al. (2011) Lifetime Prevalence of Gender-based Violence in Women and Relationship with Mental Disorders and Psychosocial Function JAMA  August 3 2011– Volume 306, No 5
  3. Palmer C (2011) Violence Against Women and Sport: A Literature Review Trust for London
  4. Hager D. Woolson Neville D (2011) ‘Mitigating the risk of men’s violence against women increasing during the Rugby World Cup ‘ retrieved from http://www.2shine.org.nz/sports-and-domestic-abuse