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Plunket welcomes new family violence laws

Plunket has welcomed the Government’s proposed overhaul of New Zealand’s family violence laws, which will see more support for victims and new offences introduced.

Today’s announcement follows a two-year review of family violence laws and will see more than 50 changes to the current Domestic Violence Act.

Family violence is a significant health and a social issue, Plunket’s General Manager Clinical Services Helen Connors says.

“Family violence, including child abuse and neglect, has a devastating, long-term and inter-generational effect on the health and wellbeing of children, families and communities. Children thrive when the people around them are in positive, non-violent relationships. This is fundamental to children feeling and being safe, and is essential to their growth and development.

“Children who have a parent who is or was abused have a higher risk of being abused themselves. Even if the abuser is not directly violent to the children, children may be seriously affected by seeing or hearing their parent being hurt.  Children will pick up on tension, stress and fear from a young age, even when they don’t understand what is going on.  Brain development is affected by good experiences and, equally, by poor-quality experiences.”

The supportive relationship between a new mother and her Plunket nurse that spans several visits provides an opportunity for effective screening and intervention, Ms Connors says.

“Adults have the right to feel safe in their relationships. Violent people need to be responsible for their actions and learn different ways to act.

“Plunket nurses are among the health professionals here to help. We can connect you with the services to support you to become violence free, or get out of a violent situation. Violence can make you feel isolated, but there are many people in the community who are ready to help.

“All New Zealanders have a role to play in ending family violence. We can all take action to protect our most vulnerable citizens from abuse. We need to be looking for preventative measures and asking ourselves questions about how we can support families to care for and raise their children safely.”

Plunket's range of community support services include free parenting courses, where parents and caregivers can learn strategies to practice positive non-violent parenting. For more information go to our website, plunket.org.nz or call PlunketLine on 0800 933 922.

For more information contact:

Head of Communications Serene Ambler

021 660 665 | serene.ambler@plunket.org.nz

About Plunket

For over a century Plunket has supported New Zealand parents to nurture healthy, happy kiwi babies. 

Plunket is a not-for-profit organisation and is New Zealand’s largest provider of services to support the health and development of children under five. 

Plunket is dedicated to working with parents and communities to ensure that New Zealand children get the best start in life. Plunket’s services help families nationwide, through over 300 branches, mobile clinics and a free phone service PlunketLine, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (0800 933 922).

Plunket services are available free to families in New Zealand with children aged 0 to 5. As registered nurses with a postgraduate qualification, Plunket nurses are able to offer high standards of expertise and a range of services to families.

For more information visit plunket.org.nz

About BNZ – Principal Sponsor

Bank of New Zealand is proud to work hand in hand with Plunket to bring young New Zealand families support when they need it most.

BNZ is proud to have been a part of New Zealand since 1861 and looks forward to supporting another organisation that has been integral to our country's upbringing.

0 Comments Posted by Mamae Munn on 13 September 2016

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