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Weekly Media Roundup

September 04, 2020 at 12:33 PM

NZ Herald: Domestic violence increases rapidly in New Zealand - strangulation, beatings 'commonplace' in 2020

Domestic violence has not only increased this year - the brutality of attacks and severity of injuries is significantly worse, say victim advocates.

A huge and continuing rise in calls for help and reports of strangulation becoming "commonplace" are causing huge concern as support service staff scramble to make sure each victim gets the help they need.

National specialist domestic violence service provider Shine says since the first Covid-19 lockdown referrals have rapidly increased.

And women are reporting incidents of strangulation four or five times a day at least.

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The Spinoff: NZ ranked fourth-worst in Unicef child wellbeing report of 41 countries

Of the 41 developed countries included in the latest Unicef Innocenti Report Card, New Zealand ranks 38th overall for our child wellbeing, dragged down by a number of poor scores for mental and physical health care. But Jacinda Ardern says the report misses a lot of the child wellbeing gains New Zealand has made over the past few years.

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RNZ: New Zealand young people facing 'silent pandemic of psychological distress'

Mental health conditions amongst young people have doubled in the past decade with researchers describing it as "a silent pandemic of psychological distress".

A commentary published today called Youth Mental Health in Aotearoa New Zealand: Greater Urgency Requiredproduced by Koi Tū: The Centre for Informed Futures at The University of Auckland, looked into the factors that impacted young people's mental health, and effective strategies for prevention and intervention.

It called for urgent action to better understand the rapid rise in issues among youth, and found nationally, poor mental health in our rangatahi had doubled in 10 years - a sharp rise - which was inequitable and only worsening.

The collection of psychologists and academics providing commentary on the matter included Sir Peter Gluckman, Professor Richie Poulton and Rochelle Menzies.

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Stuff: DHB data shows scale of staffing shortages in mental health services

New figures released by Counties Manukau Health under the Official Information Act show its Mental Health and Addiction department has a staffing shortage of 121 positions.

It comes at a time when demand for such services is high because of Covid-19, with people facing greater financial strain due to unemployment, limited ability to cope with new norms and the fall-out from family violence.

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RNZ: Covid-19 impact on children lifelong: UNICEF report

The United Nations Children's Fund is warning the impact of Covid-19 on children extends far beyond the spheres of their physical health.

A new report released by the UN agency revealed the pandemic was having profound effects on children's mental health, social development, safety, privacy, economic security and beyond.

The report Humanitarian Action For Children also said the impact of the global crisis on children would be lifelong.

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Stuff: Father sends abusive emails harassing and threatening Oranga Tamariki staff

A father of a child in Oranga Tamariki care has admitted harassing and abusing its employees, after sending 42 emails to a staff member in one day.

Between January 8 and April 30, Blenheim man Joseph Ward, 38, sent an “excessive” number of emails to an Oranga Tamariki staff member, a police summary of facts said.

Multiple emails included abuse, threats, and blamed her for his suicidal thoughts which caused the staff member to fear for her safety.

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Stuff: Failed appeal for man who raped and assaulted woman in three-day ordeal

A convicted rapist who kidnapped a woman and brutalised her over three days has unsuccessfully tried to appeal his sentence.

Eric Reihana Hepi, 41, was sentenced to preventive detention (an open-ended prison term) by Justice Robert Osborne at the High Court in Dunedin in November.

Hepi pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including representative charges of rape, unlawful sexual connection, threatening to kill and threatening to cause grievous bodily harm.

The charges were laid after Hepi abused and raped a woman he knew and had invited to his flat.

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Stuff: Couple say they don't blame girl who alleged abuse

The couple who were caregivers for a girl who accused the husband of abuse say they still love her and don't blame her for what happened.

But the man's wife believes the situation could have been avoided with more support from Oranga Tamariki – which says it is “committed to learning from this case”.

The family cannot be named, to avoid identifying the girl who came to them early 2017 after vetting by Oranga Tamariki.

In mid-2019, she told a specialist child interviewer the man had burned her hand under hot water, made her eat rotten food and her vomit, threw her into a wall, and hit her in various ways.

But all six ill-treatment and assault charges were dismissed on Tuesday after a judge-alone trial in Hamilton District Court.

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Category: News Media