New scheme aims to shield children from violence

NZ Herald Thursday Dec 3, 2009

Preventing two-year-olds witnessing family violence is at the heart of a new First Response pilot launched today. The country’s largest violence prevention agency, Shine, has partnered with police and will go into violent homes where children under two live. Last year police dealt with 50,000 reports of family violence across the country. At a launch in Auckland this morning, Shine client service director Jill Proudfoot said the pilot would run until June next year and serve 500 children aged under two. She said the programme would see trained Shine advocates going to homes across Auckland City where domestic violence has taken place. “We’ll see them before it becomes an ongoing problem,” Ms Proudfoot said. She said a violence assessment would be carried out in the homes and would look at possible alcohol, drug and gang problems that could be leading to domestic violence.
here’s the concern:
In July, Jill Proudfoot says, “It is time to stop minimizing and denying the seriousness of violence towards children in our society. Words like ‘smacking’ sound very different from words like ‘hitting’, ‘beating’, and ‘assaulting’, but what in fact is the difference? Calling a ‘hit’ a ‘smack’ may make the parent feel better, but it doesn’t help the child at all.”