Justice System Perpetuating Problem of Child Abuse

Media Release 14 August 2012
Family First NZ says that the justice system in New Zealand is perpetuating the problem of child abuse by handing out ‘wet bus ticket’ sentences in response to cases of serious child abuse. The comments come after revelations that a father was sentenced to a year’s home detention despite repeated assaults on his infant daughter that resulted in her legs being broken in five places.

“This is a pathetic sentence that sends a dangerous message. We simply don’t value the life and protection of our vulnerable young children – based on the response of our justice system,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “This latest case appears to be a cold, calculated and grotesque abuse of a four month old. To put a value on that as a ‘homestay’ for 12 months is insulting and pathetic.”

“As a community, we are trying to say that the abuse of our young and most vulnerable is completely unacceptable, and that our responsibility as adults is even greater around these young children – yet the consequences given out by the courts are completely undermining that message.”

“It is significant that the consequences for attacking a police officer or prison guard are being increased. It is time that children received the same increased level of protection,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“We would call on the Crown to appeal the sentence in this current case. People who murder and maim our children need to know that children will be afforded greater protection by the judiciary,” says Mr McCoskrie.

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