New research has found child abuse is closely tied to violence between parents.
The Family Violence Clearinghouse study shows a strong link between intimate partner violence and child maltreatment.
One of the study's authors, Janet Fanslow, says one in three New Zealand women experience a form of sexual or physical abuse by a partner, and more than half the children who witness such violence experience some form of abuse themselves.
Ms Fanslow says the violence usually affects the bond between mother and child which is essential for a healthy child.
The study says the relationship between the two kinds of abuse is not adequately recognised in the Government's plan to help vulnerable children and a multi-agency response is urgently needed.