Family First NZ says that the independent ministerial inquiry into a horrific child abuse case initiated by Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett does not go far enough and should be widened to a Royal Commission on Inquiry on family breakdown, family violence and child abuse.
“Why focus on one horrendous case when there have been 26 deaths in the past 3.5 years and many more children abused almost to death. If we are going to tackle the ‘cancer’ of child abuse, we must first tackle the tougher issues of family breakdown and dysfunction, huge drug and alcohol abuse issues, violence in our media, poverty and stress, and mental illness,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“The Inquiry also needs to include a look at the effect of welfare, the diminishing rates of marriage and the role of family structure, and the urgent need for an independent CYF Complaints Authority.”
“Since the passing of the anti-smacking law, there has been a continual stream of child abuse cases, the rate of child abuse deaths has continued at the same rate as before, and resources have been diverted to chasing parents who use a smack rather than targeting rotten parents with clear evidence of abuse.”
“The plethora of so-called ‘experts’ simply aren’t solving the problem. The fact that the family of the West Auckland 9-year-old had been involved with CYF, a family support agency, a registered ACC counsellor, a court-appointed psychologist, the child’s court-appointed lawyer and a child and youth mental health service is ample proof that the ‘bottom of the cliff’ approach is not working and is not the key – we must look at the root causes of child abuse. Why is it happening in the first place?”
Family First is repeating its call for a Commission of Inquiry into child abuse – www.stoptheabuse.org.nz
“Children will never be safe until we are honest enough as a country to identify and tackle the real causes of child abuse. An independent Inquiry free of political correctness and agendas would be an important first step,” says Mr McCoskrie.
HALL OF SHAME
Deaths since Anti-smacking law was passed
1. 16 month old Sachin Dhani June 2007
2. 28-year-old woman charged with murdering a newborn baby found dead in the backyard of a Te Mome Road property in Alicetown – June 2007
3. 22-month-old Tyla-Maree Darryl Flynn June 2007
4. 3 year old Nia Glassie July 2007
5. Ten-month-old Jyniah Mary Te Awa September 2007 Manurewa
6. Two-month-old Tahani Mahomed December 2007 Otahuhu
7. 3 year old Dylan Hohepa Tonga Rimoni April 2008 Drury
8. A 27-year-old Dunedin mother of five admitted infanticide. On May 26 she lost control, banged the baby’s head repeatedly against the couch, choked her, then threw her on the bed and covered her with a blanket. May 2008
9. 7-year-old Duwayne Toetu Taote Pailegutu. July 2008
10. 16-month old Riley Justin Osborne (Kerikeri) boy Dec 2008
11. Three-year-old Cherish Tahuri-Wright (Marton) Feb 2009
12. Five-week-old Jayrhis Ian Te Koha Lock-Tata (Taupo) Mar 2009
13. One-year-old Trent James Matthews – aka Michael Matthews Jun 2009
14. Two-year-old Jacqui Peterson-Davis Kaitaia Aug 09
15. 3 year old Kash McKinnon Palmerston North 19 Aug 2009
16. Baby death arrest Green Bay 26 Aug 2009
An 18 year-old woman will appear in the Waitakere District Court today where she will be charged with concealing the dead body of a child.
17. 22 month old Hail-Sage McClutchie Morrinsville 27 Sep 2009
18. Toddler Karl Perigo-Check Junior Wanganui 25 Oct 2009
19. Death 18 Feb 2010
A 29-year-old mother faces a murder charge for leaving her baby in a bath
20. Death Infanticide 18 Feb 2010
Police investigating the death of a baby who was found at a Christchurch address yesterday are looking for the child’s mother.
21. 6 months old Cezar Taylor Mangere East July 2010
22. 3 year old Seini Unaloto IKAMANU 24 March 2010 (died 7 Dec 2010)
23. Death 8 Dec 2010
A 27-year-old woman has been charged with the murder of a newborn baby after an incident in Christchurch overnight
24. 5-year-old Napier girl Sahara Jayde Baker-Koro found dead in her bed. 24-year-old man charged 21 Dec 2010
25. 5-month-old Mikara Ranui Jarius Reti, of Flaxmere. A 21-year-old man has been charged with manslaughter in relation to Mikara’s death 16 January 2011