TVNZ 27 January 2012
An expert says a recent spate of violent sex crimes, which have been made more disturbing by the arrest of teenagers, comes as no surprise. Family Services clinical leader Les Simmonds told TV ONE’s Breakfast that there has been a rise in the severity of violence in sex offenders recently and he is not surprised by the fact that the offenders are getting younger and younger. “When we start to look at the young people who are committing these crimes we’re seeing young people coming from a generation of violence, we’re seeing them in a context of poverty and under-achievement….
Russell Smith, who is a counsellor who works with male sex offenders in prisons through Korowai Tumanako, said he receives a number of calls for support from parents who are concerned about their child’s behaviour. Smith said parents often have concerns about their child’s sexualised behaviour at school, with some finding sexualised photos of other school children on their child’s mobile phones. But he claims in many cases he does not have the resources to support them. He said the earlier you catch this type of behaviour the better. “We believe it should be part of the school curriculum about changing the way our young people view media, you know we’re dealing with some highly violent media that’s on social media so that reinforces particular behaviour.”