Vigilance needed still on child abuse (should read Vigilance needed to keep smacking banned!)

Otago Daily Times 26 July 08

The repealing of section 59 of the Crimes Act was not “100% safe” (TRUE) and it was important to stay vigilant, Green Party MP Sue Bradford told those attending the Children’s Issues Centre national seminar in Dunedin yesterday. “There is still an ongoing political battle and it is not completely won.(TRUE)” Ms Bradford is one of six speakers at the seminar, which is focused on moving on from the repealing of section 59.

Polls showed the law change was a major election issue for about 5% of voters (TRUE), Ms Bradford said. The “most powerful forces” working against the law change were those involved in the petition for a referendum on the issue (FALSE – IT’S THE HUGE PROPORTION OF NZ’ERS). There was no question the petition had been “amazingly successful” (TRUE) given that it was very difficult to meet the required 10% target, she said. “They have poured a huge amount of time and money into it. (TIME YES MONEY NO MORE THAN CHILDRENS COMMISSIONER / UNICEF / BARNARDOES et al) ” More signatures were collected for the petition after the first petition fell short when more than 5000 signatures were declared invalid (FALSE 50,000). A report on the validity of those further signatures was expected at the end of August.

“I feel sure some of the people who signed it then have changed their mind since (FALSE), but that doesn’t negate the legality of those signatures.” Any potential threat to the law change would depend on the make-up of the next government (TRUE). Her biggest concern would be any attempt to change the law to define an acceptable level and nature of violence, as that would send the message violence against children was acceptable (FALSE), she said. The role of academics and researchers in any future debate would be “incredibly important”.

There was no evidence people were being “dragged off to court” for minor offences (FALSE) and she welcomed research presented at the seminar which showed 44% of voters were in favour of the new legislation (FALSE), she said. “While Family First are creating the perception 80% are against it, I feel this is much more in line and that the proportion is about 50-50. (FALSE)

Family First Comment: Note that there is no reference to the continuing rate of child abuse deaths, the skyrocketing rates of CYF notifications, and the continued horror stories of real child abuse happening where there is drug and alcohol abuse, family breakdown, dysfunction etc.
“The epidemic of child abuse and child violence in this country continues – sadly. My bill was never intended to solve that problem.”
Sue Bradford – National Radio – 21 Dec 07
Read Family First Media Releases
Discredited Anti-Smacking Advocate Back in NZ
Anti-Smacking Conference At Venue Where Research Contradicts