We support the #NoExcuses Campaign to combat violence against women

The Women’s Rights Party wholeheartedly supports the United Nations 16-day #NoExcuse media campaign, launched on November 25 to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

The campaign launch coincided with White Ribbon Day in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Between 2011 and 2021 around 135 women in this country were killed in acts of femicide. There is no excuse for the fact that 98% of these women were murdered by men who were long known to have been beating or abusing them.

There is an urgent need for the incoming Government to step up efforts to prevent violence against women and girls.

Half the women murdered by their male partners in Aotearoa are overkill deaths, characterised by excessive violence like strangling and multiple stabbing. Research shows that “overkill” is intentional homicide as it most often happens when women run from or plan to leave their killer. The Women’s Rights Party objects to the sanitised language used to categorise male on female violence.  Terms such as ‘intimate partner violence’ and ‘family violence’ fail to describe the reality in which 83% of violent assaults are committed by men.

One in three New Zealand women has experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by men.

A 2019 Family Violence Study showed that women experience much higher rates of controlling behaviours and double the rates of economic abuse from male partners. The study also showed that most assaults on women (87%) go unreported. We need to scale up local and national efforts to protect women from violence, abuse and rape in the home.

The Women’s Rights Party is calling on the new Government to fund single-sex shelters, women-only refuges, women-to-women counselling and peer support, all of which are essential in helping survivors leave dangerous relationships. Economic assistance is also vital to enable women and children to safely exit situations where they are dependent financially on an abusive husband or boyfriend.

In the year leading to June 2022, New Zealand Police recorded 175,573 investigations into violence in our homes.

These statistics highlight the shameful fact that serious abuse is endemic in New Zealand. More must be done to counter the sexual and social commodification of children that reinforces ideas of male control and violence.

The last Government set up Te Puna Aonui in 2018 to stop male on female violence, but at least 16 New Zealand women were murdered by their partners or former partners in the past year.

We need to address the bigger issues of sexual objectification, victim blaming and unequal power relations between women and men.

The #NoExcuse campaign will run until December 10 to highlight the urgent need for global intervention to prevent violence against women and girls by men in their homes, workplaces and communities.

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