Commission of Inquiry into Abuse – Not Just One Case
Media Release 20 January 2011
Family First NZ says that the independent ministerial inquiry into a horrific child abuse case inititiated by Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett does not go far enough and should be widened to a Royal Commission on Inquiry on family breakdown, family violence and child abuse.
“Why focus on one horrendous case when there have been 26 deaths in the past 3.5 years and many more children abused almost to death. If we are going to tackle the ‘cancer’ of child abuse, we must first tackle the tougher issues of family breakdown and dysfunction, huge drug and alcohol abuse issues, violence in our media, poverty and stress, and mental illness,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“The Inquiry also needs to include a look at the effect of welfare, the diminishing rates of marriage and the role of family structure, and the urgent need for an independent CYF Complaints Authority.”
“Since the passing of the anti-smacking law, there has been a continual stream of child abuse cases, the rate of child abuse deaths has continued at the same rate as before, and resources have been diverted to chasing parents who use a smack rather than targeting rotten parents with clear evidence of abuse.”
“The plethora of so-called ‘experts’ simply aren’t solving the problem. The fact that the family of the West Auckland 9-year-old had been involved with CYF, a family support agency, a registered ACC counsellor, a court-appointed psychologist, the child’s court-appointed lawyer and a child and youth mental health service is ample proof that the ‘bottom of the cliff’ approach is not working and is not the key – we must look at the root causes of child abuse. Why is it happening in the first place?”
Family First is repeating its call for a Commission of Inquiry into child abuse – www.stoptheabuse.org.nz
“Children will never be safe until we are honest enough as a country to identify and tackle the real causes of child abuse. An independent Inquiry free of political correctness and agendas would be an important first step,” says Mr McCoskrie.
UPDATE: Picked up by NZPA and Otago Daily Times