Shock after counsellor approves underage relationship

ONE News 30 May 2012
The parents of an underage girl who was having sex with an older man were shocked when a CYF-approved counsellor encouraged their daughter’s relationship. Jade’s parents sought help from Child Youth and Family (CYF), after being referred by police, because they believed their 14-year-old daughter’s sexual relationship with the 20-year-old was harmful. The police case against the man went ahead and CYF suggested counselling for Jade. But the counsellor told Jade’s parents they should celebrate her happiness and said they should “be thrilled” their daughter had found love at such young age. The counsellor said it was fine even when the 14-year-old was involved in group sex with the 20-year-old and a work colleague of his. “We felt sure CYF would realise that this was crazy,” Jade’s father told TVNZ’s Close Up programme. However CYF backed the counsellor and helped Jade move out of her parent’s home for a month.

…With help from a school counsellor and Youthlaw, Jade then took her parents to court effectively to divorce them and gag both them and her two brothers. “We had to go through a lawyer every time we spoke to them, $1000 a time or whatever adds up,” Jade’s mother said. Because they kept trying to make contact with people connected with Jade, her parents got taken back to court and threatened with prison for breaking a temporary gagging order. “There were times I’d leave the office and go to a park and simply cry not knowing what was going on with my daughter,” Jade’s father said. And their distress was made worse when they saw pictures of Jade online during the time she was at school. Days before Jade’s 18th birthday the case was finally heard and the judge found no reason to silence her parents. “We won the court case but we lost our daughter,” Jade’s father said.

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