Agencies doubt abuse figures

NZ Herald 6 March 2015
The number of child abuse complaints referred to Child Youth and Family in Tauranga is falling, but agencies in the area are debating the new figures.

Information released by the Ministry of Social Development to the Bay of Plenty Times under the Official Information Act shows 444 children up to the age of 14 suffered emotional abuse, 172 suffered neglect, 149 suffered physical abuse and 29 were sexually abused in the 2013/2014 financial year.

The figures showed the number of critical cases fell during a five-year period.

In the 2009/2010 financial year 226 cases were assessed as critical while in the 2013/14 financial year the number was 181.

A critical rating is applied when a child or young person is identified as having been severely abused or neglected.

Bernadine Mackenzie, deputy chief executive of Child, Youth and Family, said when a concern was expressed to CYF a child or young person may be at risk of abuse or neglect, a notification was recorded.
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