Silent protest against child abuse a success – organisers

NZPA | Wednesday, 8 August 2007
three-minute silence to protest child abuse was observed by people around the country, organisers of the action say. New Zealanders were encouraged to go outside and stand in silence for three minutes at 12.12pm today. Workers stood in groups on central Wellington streets, roads were closed in Tauranga and a group of “prominent New Zealanders” gathered outside Starship Hospital in Auckland. Warriors rugby league players and staff also observed the silence at Mount Smart stadium after their weekly media session, team spokesman Richard Becht said.The protest was organised by lobby groups Family First NZ, the Sensible Sentencing Trust and For the Sake of Our Children Trust. The three minutes represented the three years of the life of Rotorua toddler Nia Glassie who died last week from injuries allegedly inflicted by members of her extended family. The time signified the 12 children who die from child abuse each year in New Zealand…..Family First spokesman Bob McCoskrie said organisers deliberately planned the protest to be as simple as possible, so that wherever people were they could take a moment to reflect on how they could make a difference to the child abuse problem. “Let’s face it – the three minutes was a symbolic gesture, but it was really designed to change the mindsets of people, from pointing the finger and `Who’s to blame?’ to `How can I be part of the solution?”‘