“Cone of silence” around child cruelty must end

From the Otago Daily Times

New Zealand has for too long allowed a “cone of silence” to surround cases of cruelty to children, Justice Minister Simon Power told Parliament last night. He was speaking on a bill that will make it an offence for people who live with a child and who know the child is at risk of death, harm or sexual assault to fail to take reasonable steps to protect the child from that risk. “We have to finally face up to the fact that there are a series of continuous tragedies occurring in this country that are going unchecked by this Parliament,” Mr Power said. “This bill says that travesty must stop, that responsibility will lie with those individuals and people who could have done something, or said something, for those who have died or been mistreated.” Mr Power said the message that was coming from the public was straightforward — politicians must stop sitting on their hands when it came to children being abused, mistreated and killed in households where family members and others were not coming forward to speak out about what was happening.

Incredibly, the Green party voted AGAINST even sending this legislation to a Select Committee for further consideration. But then again, they also voted against classifying ‘P’ as a Class A drug. They are obviously not serious about tackling the issue of child abuse and significant contributing factors to at-risk families.


1 comment for ““Cone of silence” around child cruelty must end

  1. Massoud
    11 May 2011 at 4:53 am

    I think you have just condemned your own Party, Simon. You preach: “We have to finally face up to the fact that there are a series of continuous tragedies occurring in this country that are going unchecked by this Parliament.”

    Well here’s a sermon for you Simon Power: When will your Party stop sitting on it’s collective, well-fed hands in regards to the amount of children suffering under the policies of your peers? The astronomical price of milk, cheese and meat in an agricultural country that largely prices it off the menu for the low incomed? Or your approval of drinking laws conceived mainly on the premise of increased profit to the economy, and the family violence that results? Or your Party’s cheap threats aimed at solo mums and the unemployed? I’m saying yes, I am speaking out about what is happening. If fingers are pointing, maybe they are hovering towards your privilidged sphere of influence.

    When you examine the messy, unpleasant, underlying context of abuse, you will find the nefarious influence of the politician’s hands lurking not far from the headlines. But, as we all know, pulling out the root of a tree is far harder and tedious than pruning a rotten branch, and makes for less sensational press coverage.

    Abusers are foul,and good media copy, yet they operate in a dismaying context refereed by Mr.Power’s contemporaries. Tell me, readers:like abuse, name one literary context in which the word “politics” is anything but synomonous with something distasteful?

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