Family First NZ, For the Sake of Our Children Trust and the Sensible Sentencing Trust have joined together to call on all NZ’ers to stand against child abuse this Wednesday.
They are asking NZ’ers to stop whatever they are doing – to come out onto the street, outside the office or classroom, to stop their car or truck and stand outside their vehicle – and make a symbolic ‘stand’ against child abuse for three minutes at 12:12pm.
The three minutes represents the three short years of Nia’s life, and the number 12 is significant as it represents the months of the year where children are abused, neglected and killed in NZ. The three short minutes is an opportunity for each person to reflect on what each one of us can do to be part of the solution to our unacceptable rate of child abuse.
They are also requesting all radio stations to play Destiny Child’s “Stand Up For Love” during these 3 minutes. This song was the Anthem for the World Children’s Day 2005.
The three Trusts are also releasing the following statement:
Each week another New Zealand child’s precious life is extinguished or damaged because violent parents or caregivers will not meet or can not cope with their responsibilities.
We are sick and tired of doing nothing while our babies and children are being beaten and murdered.
We have allowed violent adults the right to silence, bail and parole, while babies’ rights go undefended.
We have allowed political correctness to get in the way of speaking the truth.
We have allowed a succession of policies over the last 30 years to diminish the significance of family structure.
We have allowed children to be raised in homes with an unacceptable level of violence, drug abuse, family dysfunction, and emotional and physical harm.
We are alarmed that with all the government groups, inquiries and Commissions appointed to oversee and intervene, we still have one of the worst rates of child abuse in the world.
When our families are messed up, our nation is messed up.
We call for implementation of the following 5-point Action Plan:
1. establishing a non-political Commission of Inquiry comprising community leaders who are already working with at-risk families – to identify effective and achievable solutions to child abuse, and examining specifically the role of drug and alcohol abuse, family structure and breakdown, race-based issues, and poverty and stress.
2. immediate increase of support and resourcing of grass-root community organisations who are working with at-risk families and those attempting to stop abuse in the first place – for example HIPPY Foundation, Early Start, Family Help Trust and other early childhood home-based programmes.
3. increased investment and availability of parenting and marriage programmes such as Parents Inc, Triple P and other community based programmes.
4. media-based anti-‘child abuse’ campaign, in the same way road safety ‘shock’ campaigns are run, raising the awareness of and encouraging ‘positive’ parenting and identifying what is abuse.
5. sentencing for those who abuse and kill our children to be substantially toughened to provide both a deterrent and a clear message of our community’s disgust with the actions of people who abuse children.
OUR CHILDREN ARE SUFFERING.