Press release 29 November 2013
Action is needed NOW!
The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has been waiting impatiently to see an appropriate response to the Roast Buster scandal from the authorities. The response of the authorities has been too little and lacking in focus.
The New Zealand Government is a signatory to CEDAW, the UN Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The 2012 Report from the CEDAW Committee made specific mention of New Zealand’s need to take action to protect women and children from violence especially sexual violence.
Barbara Arnold, NCWNZ President, said the type of abhorrent behaviour displayed recently by the young New Zealand males and lack of appropriate response by authority brings us into international disrepute. She said the NCWNZ Alternate 2012 CEDAW report to the Committee written by the New Zealand Non-Governmental Organisations clearly identified that many of the recommendations in the report of the Government’s own Task Force for Action on Sexual Violence have not yet been implemented. These included encouraging the reporting of sexual violence cases, strengthening the training of police, the provision of adequate assistance and protection for women victims and the collection and publication of accurate data on which policy makers can base new initiatives and the allocation of resources to implement them.
The inadequacy of police and legal systems to deal with cases of sexual violence has been clearly recognised by international and national groups for many years and it is high time that these issues are addressed she said. It is to be hoped that the recent appalling events in Auckland will galvanise the Government and social agencies to act NOW to protect our women and girls.
NCWNZ encourages all New Zealand men to take the White Ribbon Pledge this month to never commit, condone or remain silent about all forms of violence towards women.