Bay of Plenty Times 28 November 2007
Frightened parents are taking out protection orders against their children after being threatened with knifes or assaulted as a new type of family violence escalates in the Bay. Others are feeling suicidal and depressed trying to cope with children as young as seven who are physically violent towards them. Local social agencies say sibling violence and kids being violent towards their parents are both issues “escalating” in the Bay. Agencies say the problem is widespread, with doctors, lawyers, police officers, teachers and business people all seeking help for their abusive children, who range in age from primary school age to young adults. In the past two weeks, seven incidents of this type of violence have been referred to family support organisation Toughlove, by Tauranga Moana Abuse Prevention Strategy (TMAPS). Examples include a 15-year-old holding a knife up to his mum and dad, then hitting them because he couldn’t get his own way. In another case, a 14-year-old screamed at his parents and tipped over furniture when he wasn’t given money to top up his cellphone. Tauranga police say they attend such incidents on a semi-regular basis and have prosecuted abusive children through both the Tauranga District and Youth Courts for it.