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Weekly Media Roundup

April 20, 2018 at 11:44 AM

National sexual harm helpline goes live

A new sexual harm helpline is now live nation-wide, but some in the sector say it might not have enough resources to manage demand.

Safe to Talk, developed by the Ministry of Social Development, aims to provide professional specialist support to sexual abuse and assault survivors.

The government expected about 10,000 people a year to use the service, which is accessible by phone, text, email, and web chat.

But Maggy Tai Rakena, the manager of Christchurch-based social service START, said the service's specialists might not be able to keep up with demand long term.

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How mum who sold her teen daughter as a sex slave was unmasked

Kasmeer Lata was jailed yesterday for keeping her teenage daughter as a sex slave and selling her to men some 1000 times. The Herald explains how she was unmasked.

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A look into NZ's homegrown family violence epidemic

Family violence is a national epidemic in New Zealand. The so-called land of milk and honey has the worst rates of domestic abuse in the developed world, claiming 28 lives a year. Deena Coster reports on an issue which hits close to home, in more ways than one.

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One woman's story of domestic hell

In the first of a four-part series looking into New Zealand's family violence epidemic, Deena Coster talks to a woman who survived 20 years of torment.

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Social worker reflects on his work with angry men

In the second of four stories about family violence stories from the frontline, Deena Coster talks to a social worker who is helping men deal with their anger and violence.

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Leaving behind a violent past

In the third of a four-part series of stories about family violence, Deena Coster discovers what gets left behind after a legacy of childhood violence.

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Three men share their experiences of putting their hand up for help

In the final of a four-part series about family violence, Deena Coster talks to men who knew it was time to ask for help.

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Māorifying prisons isn’t the solution to too many Māori in prison

I’d been to Rimutaka a number of times in my capacity as a lawyer. And I remember this time how it hurt, how it broke my heart, going to the Māori focus unit and having the karanga come from within that unit, and having a pōwhiri from the Māori inmates, as tangata whenua, welcoming us in.

So, it was me, Crown lawyers and judges, being welcomed into the prison by this group — as if they belonged there and as if we were manuhiri visiting. And I felt that Māori do not belong in prison and that the appropriate response isn’t to "Māorify" a prison.

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Standing up for state care kids

The number of children in state care in New Zealand is at an all-time high. An independent advocacy service, which this month marked its first birthday, is working directly with those in the system to make things better. Teuila Fuatai reports.

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Mother sentenced for child neglect after five years covering up serious abuse

A mother who tried to cover up five years of "harrowing" physical and emotional abuse to her daughter by calling her a liar has avoided being sent to jail.

From 8 years old the girl was screamed and sworn at, called a "waste of space", made to carry out excessive physical tasks, excluded from meals and assaulted by her stepfather, the Palmerston North District Court heard.

Once he threw her against a wall so hard her foot was broken. He had bashed her toes with a meat tenderiser and more than one neighbour described the shouting as "relentless".

During this time the girl's mother did not seek help for her, verbally abused her, sent her to school without warm, clean clothes and covered up what was happening at home, Judge Lance Rowe said.

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Justice Minister Andrew Little hints at law changes as prison population climbs

Justice Minister Andrew Little has indicated that bail laws may need to be softened to cut New Zealand's prisoner numbers.

Little strongly hinted at changes to bail reforms passed five years ago as a way of addressing the fast-growing prison muster - which is still expanding at a time when the national crime rate is static.

"It's pretty obvious that the bail laws are not being applied as was intended when the bail law went through Parliament in 2013," Little told the Herald.

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125 years of Home and Family

Michael Perry pores over a photograph of his great-grandfather, searching for a family resemblance.

"I can't see physical similarities," he says.

"But then I realise in actual fact we inherit mental sensibilities. I think he was a man concerned about the underdog and I think I have the same feelings."

The man in the photograph, which hangs in the foyer of the Mt Eden villa that has housed New Zealand's longest-running charity, Home and Family Counselling, since 1988, is Henry Wilding.

An English immigrant, Wilding co-founded the organisation, then known as the New Zealand Society for the Protection of Women and Children, exactly 125 years ago.

On April 14 1893, he and other concerned citizens met to discuss the plight of women and children who had been mistreated by their husbands and fathers.

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Human trafficking: Migrants lured to NZ with lucrative job offers exploited, forced into sex industry

A report by the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women, being launched tomorrow in Wellington, said there was no hard evidence of women being brought here against their will for sex.

But it found many examples of migrant sex workers facing abuse and exploitation.

The report "Sex Workers Organising for Change" blamed New Zealand immigration laws for putting them in situations where the sex workers were vulnerable for exploitation and at risk of trafficking.

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Police protect judges at home from 'intimidating' Family Court protesters

Judges are being protected at their family homes by police as angry dads protest outside with placards and megaphones.

A group of fathers, many of whom are disgruntled at losing custody or visitation rights to their children, are gathering outside the homes of Family Court judges in Auckland, say multiple Herald sources.

It is understood the protests, which have largely taken place during weekends over the past few weeks, against about three judges have so far been peaceful with no reports of trespassing or property damage.

However, Minister of Justice and Courts Andrew Little called the protests "very disturbing" and said there was no excuse for people taking their case to the front door of a judge.

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Ministry of Justice awarded workplace domestic violence prevention tick

The Ministry of Justice has been acknowledged for getting serious about preventing domestic violence in its workplace.

On Wednesday, the ministry was awarded a DVFree Tick by specialist domestic violence prevention charity Shine.

This was the first accreditation granted to a public sector organisation and the second tick awarded in New Zealand, with the first presented to Westpac in October.

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Queenstown judge probe 'repugnant'

A high court barrister is calling for the New Zealand Law Society's prosecution arm to be sacked after launching an investigation into a lawyer who berated district court judge.

Lawyer Catriona MacLennan is facing a hefty fine or censuring after she called for Queenstown District Court Judge John Brandts-Giesen to be sacked for his comments during a domestic violence sentencing last year.

High Court barrister Benedict Tompkins, who works in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom, has since written to New Zealand Law Society president Kathryn Beck labelling the investigation into MacLennan "repugnant" and calling for her to remove the National Standards Committee.

"They have made an astonishing and inexcusable error of judgment," Tompkins argued.

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Lawyers are free to speak out against the judiciary, NZLS president says

Lawyers are free to criticise and speak out on judges' decisions providing it does not undermine public confidence in the judicial system, according to New Zealand Law Society president Kathryn Beck.

The law society has spoken about the comments lawyers can make on the judiciary and its investigation processes after lawyer Catriona MacLennan revealed she was being investigated by its National Standards Committee for criticising a Queenstown judge last year.

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Jerrim Toms' shooting shows mental health underfunded

The fatal shooting of Jerrim Toms shows how police are bearing the brunt of a lack of mental health resources, the Mental Health Foundation says.

The family of Jerrim Toms who was killed by police two weeks ago say he was not a criminal and they are questioning why they say upwards of 12 shots were fired at him.

His family said on the night he died they called mental health services because he was saying strange things - but were told to call the police for a welfare check.

In the meantime, Mr Toms drove off and was ultimately pulled over and shot by police.

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Former Child Youth and Family worker jailed for 12 years for sexual abuse

A former Child Youth and Family (CYF) caregiver has been sentenced to 12 years in jail after he was found guilty of 15 sexual abuse charges.

Rex Lawrence Wilson, 64, was found guilty of 15 out of 17 sexual abuse charges, including rape and indecent assault of a child under the age of 12, in February.

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Category: News Media