Child Abuse Rate Shows We’re Still Failing

Family First NZ says that the latest rates of CYF notifications are horrendous and shows a continuing failure to tackle the real causes.

“NZ’ers were completely opposed to the anti-smacking law because they knew that it was a smoke-screen for tackling the real causes of child abuse – the far harder issues of drug and alcohol abuse, family breakdown, violence in our media, mental illness and other key factors identified by UNICEF, CYF and Children’s Commissioner reports,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“To attribute the increase in notifications to public awareness and ‘better reporting’ simply doesn’t wash. The rate was already out of control years before the family violence policy and well before the anti-smacking legislation. In 2002, there were less than 30,000 notifications. We’re now predicting 125,000 next year.”

“Over the past 30 years we have allowed a succession of policies to diminish the importance of family structure and marriage. We have watched as politicians have given adults the right to silence, bail and parole while the rights of children to be safe have been ignored. We have allowed children to be raised in homes with an unacceptable level of drug abuse, family dysfunction and physical and emotional harm. And we’ve allowed the media to fill our minds with increasing levels of sexual and violent images in the name of entertainment and freedom of speech.”

“Since the passing of the anti-smacking law, there has been a continual stream of child abuse cases and the rate of child abuse deaths has continued,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“These latest figures relating to CYF notifications is yet another wake-up call that children will never be safe until we are honest enough as a country to identify and tackle the real causes of child abuse.”

Family First is repeating its call for a Commission of Inquiry into child abuse –

“To try and reason away these horrendous figures as ‘better reporting’ is a cop-out,” says Mr McCoskrie.

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