Children in poorer areas more prone to abuse

NZ Herald Aug 29, 2011 

Children in poorer neighbourhoods are being admitted to hospital as victims of assault, neglect or maltreatment at a rate more than five times that of children in wealthier neighbourhoods, a report has found. The Children’s Social Health Monitor’s 2011 findings show hospital admissions arising from “assault, neglect or maltreatment” were 5.6 times higher for those in the most deprived areas, Otago University child and youth epidemiology service director Dr Elizabeth Craig said. Mortality from sudden unexpected death in infancy was 7.4 times higher for those living in the most deprived areas, the report found. Infant mortality rates were also higher for Maori and Pacific Island infants, and those with mothers younger than 30. The report found 20.4 per cent or 234,572 children were reliant on a benefit in April. In 2008, there were 201,083 children relying on a benefit.