FYI, our media release 07/09/2015
Ministry of Justice Refuses to Change False Statistics
Community group the Ministry for Men has accused the Ministry of Justice and other government departments of spreading false statistics about domestic violence then refusing to correct their error after being informed.
The Ministry of Justice recently published a document called ‘Strengthening NZ’s legislative response to family violence; A public discussion document’ that claimed at its outset “On average, every year 14 women, 7 men and 8 children are killed by a family member”. The same claim appears on a Ministry of Social Development web page and has been repeated by news media and other groups.
Ministry for Men spokesman Kerry Bevin said that the figures are not in line with any official records and appear to have been plucked out of thin air.
“NZ Police figures on family homicides from the years 2007 to 2014 don’t show anything like what our Ministries are claiming as averages. The latest report from the state-funded Family Violence Death Review Committee show that the true average figures are 13 women, 10 men and 9 children.”
Kerry Bevin said the error was significant. “These false statistics lead the public to believe that twice as many women as men are killed through family violence, whereas in fact 43% of family violence deaths are suffered by men. That gives a very different picture of the problem.”
Kerry Bevin said it was concerning that the Ministry for Justice would publish misleading statistics in a discussion document that the public is being asked to read before providing submissions regarding proposed family violence law changes.
“Public submissions will be based on the false picture being painted, so resulting solutions can be expected to miss the mark.”
“It’s a sorry state of affairs when taxpayers cannot trust government Ministries to provide accurate information about such a basic matter, and it’s appalling that those Ministries have refused to correct their error when made aware of it.”
The Ministry for Men called on both Ministries and any other group that had repeated the false statistics to issue corrections quickly, to ensure that those taking the time to make submissions on family law changes are properly informed.