25 Nov 2008

Concern teens falling victim to partners' abuse

9:47 pm on 25 November 2008

There is widespread concern at the increasing number of teenage girls in New Zealand being abused by their partners.

Tuesday is White Ribbon Day and organisations throughout the world have been highlighting the prevalence of rape, sexual assault and domestic violence for the United Nations international day for the elimination of violence against women.

Events were held throughout New Zealand for people to show that they will not tolerate violence against women, nor turn a blind eye.

Groups including police and the Hamilton Abuse Intervention Project say they are noticing an increasing prevalence of young women falling victim to their partners' abuse.

Project manager Lila Jones told Nine to Noon she is concerned about the level of coercion of girls as young as 14 to have sex with their partners.

Ms Jones says some girls are also being treated as slaves in their own home and people must speak up if they suspect abuse.

25% of Cambodian women assaulted - report

In Cambodia, the government has released a report which suggests that a quarter of all women suffer domestic violence and that incidents of rape and sexual assault are increasing.

The report says the increasing use of drugs and alcohol by men is having a direct on the safety of female Cambodians.

It suggests that gang rape is being treated as a sport in some areas and that law enforcement agencies need to do more to stop it.

The report says education may be the key to changing the attitudes which allow attacks on women to go unpunished, or even codoned.

The Ministry of Women's Affairs points out that Cambodia is ahead of many developing countries in terms of its legislation.

Australian state takes stand

The Northern Territory is set to become the first place in Australia where it will be illegal not to report incidents of domestic violence.

The new laws to protect women and children from family violence will be introduced into state parliament on Wednesday and debated in February sittings.

"I say to the community that domestic and family violence will simply not be tolerated," NT Minister for Children and Families Malarndirri McCarthy said on Tuesday.

"There are too many women and children enduring abuse ... and this government is saying enough is enough."

Domestic violence is a problem in the territory, with half of reported assaults each year involving violence against women.

Almost 3,000 domestic violence incidents were reported to police in the 2007-08 financial year resulting in 2,594 Domestic Violence Orders. More than 1,800 of the orders were subsequently breached.

Police said nearly two thirds of domestic incidents were alcohol-related.