On 16 June, the Glenn Inquiry released The People’s Report; a report of independent research addressing New Zealand’s concerning statistics of child abuse and domestic violence.
The report shares the voices and stories of 500 survivors, front-line workers, perpetrators and their families with New Zealand. We must learn from these stories and end what the report calls a ‘blight on our people’. The results of the inquiry are alarming for not only the social sector but society in general.
It is important that we understand what the findings mean. We can use the information to inform our practice.
The inquiry panel heard what helped, what didn’t and what contributed to making the situation worse. The extent of the issues are concerning. The communities of New Zealand need to play a part in addressing the problem.
Services and government need to be honest in their self-appraisals. The report helps us see where improvement is needed with staff and services and within and between organisations.
Drawing on the findings and international practice the report proposes a more positive system for tackling child abuse and family violence. The system needs to tackle current and past domestic violence at the same time as child abuse.
This will take resources, training, kindness, knowledge sharing, a client focus and new services.
We need to work with individuals and whanau as well as addressing macro level social issues such as binge drinking culture.
The report recognises that long-term support and intervention is most beneficial when delivered in collaboration. There is no one solution, we need to work together to address this problem, whether we are volunteers, independent agencies or government services we can make a difference but only by recognising problems and addressing them. The wellbeing and lives of many depend on it.
For more information on the inquiry go to glenninquiry.org.nz
For an overview of The People’s Report go to glenninquiry.org.nz/uploads/files/Overview_-_The_Peoples_Report.pdf
To read the full version of The People’s Report go to glenninquiry.org.nz/the-peoples-report. You can find the Executive Summary on pages 10-13