Monday, 30 May 2011

SBS: New Zealand: Education Program

23 May 2011
Child abuse numbers show New Zealand is tracking towards another year of shame.
Despite the government's pledges to toughen the law, 2011 looks set to break new records of horrific abuse.
Figures obtained by ONE News show police have 6117 active child abuse cases before them. Of those, 2521 have been open for more than a year.
2011 set to be another year of child abuse shame (Source: ONE News)

Last year Child, Youth and Family had more than 124,921 notifications, compared to 50,488 in 2005.
Figures from Starship Children's Hospital show more babies have already been shaken in this financial year than last, with more than a month to go until the year ends.
"When I started working in this area in the late '90s we were seeing two to three children a year with this kind of head injury. Now we're seeing one a month," said Starship Paediatrician Dr Patrick Kelly.
The Ministry of Social Development is pushing its new green paper, which is due out in August and will see at-risk children tracked. It will also make child abuse reporting mandatory .
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said too often she has seen cases where a child has been killed or badly hurt, where two people have been present and one is responsible.
"There is an underbelly of intense violence in our community that is staggering and unanswerable quite frankly," said Bennett.
But Child Abuse Prevention Expert Anthea Simcock said time is running out and the proof will be in the pudding.
Kelly said there is political pressure for the government to do something, but that is not achieving good results.
"People choose the latest good idea or the latest fashion to try and put it into place and three years goes by and another government comes to power and they have another good idea. So there's very little implemented and carried through over time."
From July, a graphic DVD showing the affects of Shaken Baby Syndrome will be shown to mothers who give birth in Auckland.
The DVD includes real stories of some New Zealand families who have shaken their own children.
"It wasn't easy to ask them to do this, because New Zealand is a small community and these are people who live among us, whose families live among us," said Kelly.
A similar education programme in upstate New York saw a reduction of 47% of Shaken Baby Syndrome.

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