‘We treat our babies like dogs’

Herald on Sunday May 16, 2010

Serious cases of abuse against babies have leapt by two-thirds in just two years, according to official figures. The Ministry of Health revealed 74 children aged under one year were admitted to hospital after violent attacks last year, compared with 45 in 2007. The surge comes as Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said children were being treated like “dogs”. In an open letter to police, Bennett wrote: “It is unacceptable that our youngest, most vulnerable children are being treated like dogs. The shameful statistics have got to change.”

…Ministry of Social Development chief executive Peter Hughes said the number of children under one who die through maltreatment was three times higher than in the 1-4 age group. “Every five days a child under 2 is hospitalised because of abuse.”