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Violence 4

  • Date Submitted: 12/30/2011 09:56 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 43.9 
  • Words: 2728
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Violence can have a devastating and long-term impact on individuals and society, in terms of its physical, emotional and psychological consequences for victims and in terms of the fear it generates in communities.

Victims of violence, particularly women, are much more affected by their experiences than victims of other kinds of crime. The New Zealand National Survey of Crime Victims (NZNSCV) 2001 reveals that people who are threatened with violence are almost as emotionally affected as victims of physical assaults. Even people who have not been victims of crime are more fearful of violence than any other crime. Fear of being attacked can limit people's quality of life and participation in the community, as they modify their behaviour to avoid perceived threats.

It is difficult to quantify the problem of violence in New Zealand, particularly at the level of community violence or sexual violence. There are no absolute figures on the level of violence that is perpetrated and experienced by New Zealanders, in their homes or in public places.

There are, however, data that can provide some insights into the extent of the problem. The most commonly used data are statistics on violent incidents recorded by Police 8 , and surveys that ask people about their experiences of different types of crime and violence. 9 Other data sources such as health and education sector statistics include hospital statistics on patients with intentional injuries, surveys of school students, and numbers of school students excluded from school for violent behaviour.

Despite the information provided by these indicators, we still cannot be certain how much violence there is in society. Many people who experience violence do not report it to the Police or seek medical attention. For example, according to the recent NZNSCV: offences recorded by New Zealand Police represent only 15% of the total victimisations estimated in the survey; only one third of victims required medical attention as...

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