18 Feb 2020

79,000 adults have been victims of crime by family members

6:10 pm on 18 February 2020

Almost 80,000 adults were the victims of crime perpetrated by family members, according to a new Ministry of Justice report.

Domestic and Family Violence. Little Girl in Fear of Domestic Abuse.

Photo: 123RF

The report Offences by Family Members, based on the 2018 Crime and Victims Survey, said 79,000 adults (2 percent) experienced one or more offences by a family member. These included physical assault, sexual assault, psychological violence by partners, harassment and threatening behaviour, property damage and robbery.

Quite often victims were injured and required medical attention for mental, physical or emotional health issues.

But only one in three offences by family members was reported to police, the report said.

It found Māori adults were more at-risk of experiencing family member violence than Pākehā adults, while adult females were more than twice as likely to report offences by family members than adult males.

The report also found that just over 100,000 adults who had a partner in the last 12 months had experienced psychological violence by an intimate partner.

Ministry of Justice manager of research and evaluation James Swindells said the findings showed that victims of offending by family members experienced moderate-to-high levels of psychological distress, at more than four times the rate of other adults.

"Data like this helps people understand the needs of those affected by violence and links with thinks like mental illness," he said.

It also identified that adults facing high levels of financial stress were more vulnerable to offending by family members.

For example, adults who could not afford a non-essential item costing $300 in the next month were five times as likely to have experienced an offence by a family member in the past year than those who could afford the item.

Read the full report here.

Where to get help:

Women's Refuge: (0800 733 843)

It's Not OK (0800 456 450)

Shine: 0508 744 633

Victim Support: 0800 650 654

HELP Call 24/7 (Auckland): 09 623 1700, (Wellington): be 04 801 6655 - 0

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

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