Reliable child abuse measure vital for NZ
Sunday Star Times 1 July 2012
New Zealand’s child abuse record is brutally laid bare in one of the most comprehensive releases of Government data on the nation’s bruised and broken children. There are 22,000 substantiated child abuse cases each year, resulting in around 1000 prosecutions and 128 recorded hospital admissions. One expert says child abuse rates are not falling and it’s time we developed reliable measures to quantify the horrific harm suffered by children. The child abuse rates, prosecutions and hospital admission figures – released under the Official Information Act – highlight stark differences in reporting. A number of hospitals are failing to record suspected rates of child abuse, while other hospitals have been accused of pointing the finger at innocent parents.
..CYF figures show a sharp increase in child abuse, from 19,596 to 22,087 in the past three years. There were 1126 cases of substantiated sexual abuse in 2009, jumping to 3225 in 2011. About half of all abuse is classified as emotional.
Substantiated abuse 2009 2010 2011
Emotional 10,938 12,532 12,595
Physical 2,855 2,884 3,225
Sexual 1,126 1,201 1,501
Neglect 4,677 4,403 4,762
Total 19,596 21.020 22,087
Child abuse convictions 2009 2010 2011
838 963 1055