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Ed Sheeran

State agencies revictimise wahine Maori

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The lead author of a new report on Maori women and family violence says the way welfare policies are implemented and leaves them with few options to escape their situation.

Professor Denise Wilson from Auckland University of Technology says the 28 wāhine Maōri who participated in the E Tū Wāhine, E Tū Whānau study said agencies and services that were supposed to offer help instead left them feeling unsafe, defensive, disregarded and discouraged.

Many stayed with or returned to violent partners because they felt they had few or no other options.

Most feared of losing their children if they sought help from the state, with good reason.

"The sad reality is 11 of those women had some interaction with CYFS or Oranga Tamariki and eight had had their children taken and five were still trying to get their children back," Professor Wilson says.

Agencies and services should act more compassionately in their dealings with wāhine if they want to reduce Aotearoa’s high rate of family violence.

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