Child Abuse in New Zealand

Filed under Random Grumps & Raves, Rights and Responsibility, Things to Consider
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In 2009, 16 children died in New Zealand, killed by members of their own families.  Child Protection Studies chief executive Anthea Simcock said the figures for child deaths equated to one killing by a family member every 23 days.  “This research shows child abuse at its clearest and most stark.  We need to start talking about child abuse …  Child abuse is a massive problem in its own right.  Let’s not allow it to be hidden under the blanket of family violence”.

Child abuse in New Zealand is a disgusting disgrace.  Its a double disgrace.

The first disgrace is the collection of apologies for human beings who visit violence upon defenceless children – all too often their own family.  Pita Sharples, the Minister of Maori Affairs in NZ, calls them “mongrels”.  He’s  not wrong.

Tragically, the violence often ends in death.  From 1993 – 1996, 35 children up to the age of 14 were killed by members of their own families.  (Died from injuries purposely inflicted).  That’s 8.75 deaths per year.   By August 2007, the average child-abuse death rate per year was reported to be 12.

And that leads to the second disgrace.  Politicians who mouth on about how disgraceful it is, about how we are all collectively responsible, and promise firm action to protect children from abuse.  In 2007, they took that “firm action”.  And now in 2010, here is what NZ still sees:

Ineffectiveness of Child, Youth and Family (CYF) – the social welfare agency charged with protecting the interests of children.  No meaningful overhaul of their procedures.  No tracking of known problem parents to see if they have more children when the state has taken their abused babies into care.  No attempt to address the social breakdown and lowering of educational and behavioural standards that result in children that grow up to be selfish, careless and abusive parents.  (Children are carefully taught their rights, but nothing about responsibility or duty of care).

The “firm action”  was an easy politically correct “solution” – an anti-spanking bill.  Almost all of the NZ parliament, Tory and Labour, Greens and Maori Party, forgot that they were elected by the people of NZ, and colluded to ram this monstrosity into law against the wishes of nearly 90 percent of the NZ population.  The new law classifies all parents who resort to spanking, even when it is  necessary, as criminals by default.  Good parents and bad.

It is now a criminal offence to spank a child in NZ – period.  No spank is considered reasonable under law.  The police have the sole choice on whether to prosecute.  If they decide it is “trivial”, then the parent is not prosecuted.  So only the police can consider a spank reasonable or trivial – incredibly, the courts of law cannot.  The parent has no defence if charged except to plead “Not guilty”.  If it is proved that the parent spanked the child, the only possible verdict is guilty.

So what we get to address child abuse is an anti-spanking law, to stop us from hitting and beating our children.  The vast majority of parents never would do that.  The kind of mongrel (the Minister’s own term) that would hit and beat a child would not pay a blind bit of attention to any law prohibiting spanking.  No more than a recidivist drinking driver would be deterred by lowering the driving alcohol limit.

How do I know that child-abusers are not deterred by the anti-spanking law?  Results.  Since it was passed in 2007, the rate of child-abuse death has continued.

When a petition in 2009 overwhelmingly called for the repeal of the anti-spanking law, the government did nothing.  No, the law is working, they said, and necessary to prevent child abuse.  And besides, they criticised the wording of the petition!

I have news for you, NZ politicians.  The law is not working.  It is an unjust and ineffective law, and NZ children continue to suffer and die at the hands of those whom it should be their birthright to trust, unprotected by effective laws and failed by NZ social welfare.  Read this, and weep:

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