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Weekly Media Roundup

May 18, 2018 at 1:27 PM

Budget: Tauranga social services pleased with $76m funding boost

A $76 million cash injection for frontline agencies dealing directly with victims and perpetrators of family violence has been welcomed by Tauranga social services.

However, a local foster care provider says while the funding is an important first step, it does not yet provide additionally for specialist services to children and youth who have witnessed family and sexual violence.

Through Budget 2018, the Government is allocating an extra $76m over four years to support the delivery of Ministry of Social Development (MSD)-funded family violence services for victims, perpetrators and their families.



Budget 2018: Extra funding for youth justice system as age increases to 17

ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway announced that survivors of sexual abuse will receive increased funding of $7.5m over four years for assessment and treatment services.

"Sexual abuse can leave deep scars, and treatment can go a long way towards helping someone recover," Iain Lees-Galloway said.

A boost in funding for domestic violence services – the first in 10 years and a 30 per cent increase in total funding - was announced earlier this month.

There will also be financial assistance to help people with costs associated with being a victim of crime, including support for victims to participate in the criminal justice system.

A new Family and Sexual Violence Central Agent has been given $2m in new operating funding for the 2018-19 year.

Read more…


Budget 2018: Funding for vulnerable children receives mixed response

Budget funding of Oranga Tamariki and the establishment of a new Child Poverty Unit to tackle child poverty have been met with mixed responses.

One critic called it a "Budget of broken promises" for Whānau Ora, who did not receive any funding despite an election promise from Labour MP Kelvin Davis to increase funding by $20 million.

While Social Services Providers Aotearoa (SSPA) welcomed the Budget's focus on helping the country's most vulnerable families, they said it bypassed essential and intensive community-based child and family services which were in need of more funding.

Read more…


National pulls support for domestic violence leave bill

A member's bill that would require employers to give a victim of domestic violence 10 days leave from work is on shaky ground as the National Party withdraws its support over new details.

National has withdrawn its support, and while the Greens have confidence New Zealand First is still on board, the party has indicated it will discuss that at its next caucus meeting.

Green MP Jan Logie's member's bill - based on stories and experiences she had heard or seen unfold in her former role with Women's Refuge - was introduced last year.



Woman critical after allegedly being stabbed in domestic violence incident in West Auckland

A woman was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries after a serious domestic assault in Auckland overnight, police said.

Police found a 33-year-old woman allegedly stabbed by a man in Glen Eden at 1.30am. 

A police spokeswoman said the woman and the man, who was also 33 yers old, were known to one another. 



Man killed by son bashed, threatened his family for years – wife

A woman has described the severe beating her husband inflicted on her hours before he was fatally stabbed by their son.

The woman's son is on trial in Auckland's High Court over the alleged murder of his father in south Auckland last year.

The identities of all family members and other details are suppressed.

The son's mother broke down in court as she detailed how her husband viciously bashed her hours before he was stabbed by their son



Poverty link with children's mental health 'unarguable'

Children growing up in disadvantaged homes are more likely to need anti-psychotic medication, new research has found.

And while the research was carried out in Australia, New Zealand's Children's Commissioner Andrew Becroft says the link between Kiwi children's poverty and mental health as 'unarguable'.



Kirsty Johnston: A message to toxic men - please just stop. Women are tired of having to have this fight

I'm furious at being forced into the role of damsel in distress. I am seething that it's 2018, and women are still suffering due to unbridled male entitlement.

We did not owe that man anything, and yet in his eyes, we did. I can't stop thinking about what he would be like in a relationship. Would he feel entitled to tell his wife what clothes to wear? Would he feel entitled to have sex with her whenever he wanted? Would he feel entitled to hit her when she refused?

This is what is meant when we talk about toxic masculinity. Dominant behaviour that threatens women and promotes violence.



'It's all about control'. Stalking: a crime on the rise in New Zealand

When Jane* received a beautiful bunch of flowers at work her colleagues thought it a desperately romantic gesture. For Jane it was a message: "I know where you are".

She had tried to disappear, changed jobs several times, deleted her digital profile. But her former partner-turned-stalker always found her.

Stalking is a very real part of domestic abuse in New Zealand and as we discovered, it's frighteningly common. Statistics are difficult to come by but one security specialist and former detective, Darren Morton, says globally, around one in 4-7 women and one in 6-13 men have experienced stalking.

Read more…


National Portrait: Heather Henare - keeping faith in humanity

Where most see misery, Heather Henare sees opportunity.

The inquiry into abuse in state care excites the hell out of her. The mental health inquiry, too. Sure, they will be grim affairs, but people will get to tell their stories. And being heard is a few steps towards healing.

That's one of the many things the 59-year-old has learnt in a lifetime of dealing with child abuse, domestic violence and now childhood trauma and loss, as chief executive of Skylight Trust.

Read more…


Law Society ends inquiry over judge criticism

The Law Society has abandoned its pursuit of a woman lawyer for criticising a judge in a domestic violence case - but defended itself for starting the investigation.

A decision from the society's National Standards Committee, out today, says it will take "no further action" against lawyer Catriona MacLennan. The committee, chaired by Christchurch barrister Nigel Hampton QC, had launched the complaint of its own volition after MacLennan said in a media interview a Queenstown judge should no longer sit on the bench.

Judge John Brandts-Giesen discharged a man without conviction for attacking his wife and another man, saying many people would have done exactly what he did. MacLennan, a lawyer in the Family Court for many years, told the New Zealand Herald the comments were "abhorrent", showed a complete lack of understanding of domestic violence and he "victim-blames and minimises assaults on three people".



Funding boost of $1.9 million propels longitudinal Growing Up in New Zealand study to next stage

A long-running study into what it's like to grow up in 21st century New Zealand is receiving a funding boost to take it to its next stage.

Growing Up in New Zealand launched 10 years ago, when the study started following a group of children born in 2008 and 2009.

The Government-funded study intended to follow 6800 families until the children reached the age of 21 but in 2016 National announced funding would be cut, making it difficult for the study to continue effectively.

This morning, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced $1.9 million of funding would be injected back into the study to ensure the current round of data collection could go ahead.



Government inquiry into historic abuse in state care won't help all victims, law firm says

A lawyer working with abuse survivors says a Royal Commission inquiry into historic state care should be extended to all victims of abuse.

Shine Lawyers' national abuse law manager Lisa Flynn said on Tuesday all victims should be considered in the inquiry.

"The safety of children whether in state care or in an institution should be non-negotiable," Flynn said.



New Zealand's 'working poor' and the push to understand how many are struggling

You could work all week and have only $20 to show for it.

You could be mother-of-two Joanna, working a retail job in Henderson, with take-home pay of $550 eaten up by rent of $530 every week.

This isn't a story about rental prices in Auckland. This is a story about low wages, high living costs, and the working poor.

And it's a story that's increasingly told around the country.

Unemployment is at its lowest in a decade - at 4.4 per cent in March - but wage growth has stagnated.

So you can get a job, but it might not pay the bills. Sitting between employment rates and wage statistics are the working poor - employed, but doing it hard.

With the political spotlight on poverty, a Government-backed study wants to answer the question: who are the working poor?



No new clothes, no haircuts, no fresh veg - the harsh reality of being a working poor mum

Judy is a single mother of two, and being part of the working poor for her means no fresh veges, no sports for the kids and relying on support for housing.

The Canterbury woman works 30 hours a week, but she still can't remember the last time she bought clothes for herself and worries about the cost of visits to the doctor for her sick daughter.

She's one of the many people who have contacted Stuff after a story was published on Wednesday revealing the realities facing the "working poor" in New Zealand.

Judy is an office worker, but she's got concerns about being identified. She raised her 15-year-old daughter and 17-year-old son on her own after leaving an abusive relationship, she says.

She earns $19 per hour at her job, where her hours were recently reduced from 37.5 per week to 30.



Chemo works, so we fund it properly. Why not do the same for counselling?

What if I told you that one of the biggest and most expensive health problems in New Zealand was not only being ignored, but although we had the technology to treat it, we as a country weren’t funding the treatment? What if I told you that people were languishing in ill health because they couldn’t afford to get the treatment that we know would help them out of their illness?

What if I told you, as a nation, we were actively encouraging people to talk about their health difficulties, seek treatment, get help, and when they reached out there was no help available?

And what if I also told you that this epidemic was only going to get worse, predicted by the World Health Organisation to be the second most prevalent health condition in the world by 2020, and it was already killing over 600 people a year in New Zealand?

I am of course, talking about mental health, and more specifically depression and anxiety.



Margaret River family shooting: The problem with the 'good bloke' narrative

OPINION: The local community at Margaret River in Western Australia is understandably in shock after one of its residents, Peter Miles, murdered his wife, daughter and four grandchildren on Friday.

While Cynda Miles was a well known figure in the town, and her daughter and grandchildren were well liked, reports published after the massacre seem to indicate that less was known about Miles. Despite this, the narrative of the "Good Bloke Under Pressure" has risen up in the wake of the homicide. As is typical in cases like this, "mental health" is being blamed.

Listen. Peter Miles and those like him are not Good Blokes, and they have to stop being described as such. This doesn't mean they were incapable of doing good deeds.

Turning murderers into "Good Blokes" only reinforces an underlying community belief that there are circumstances in which men (and it's always men, because nobody defends women who murder children or describes them as "awesome") can be driven to this kind of response. That indeed the pressures of being a man can be so intense and suffocating that they feel they have no choice but to end the lives of everyone they're "responsible" for.



High fashion launch party kicks off Women's Refuge pop-up shop fundraiser

When friends Shona Smith and Suzanne Wallworth organised the Taranaki Women's Refuge Pop-up Clothing Shop in 2017 they pulled off a bumper fundraising event.

This year they unleashed their entrepreneurial spirit to organise the first ever launch party to kick off the clothes collection drive.



Ladies charity tennis tournament serves $6000 to Women's Refuge

The bathrooms in a Hastings Women's Refuge safe house will receive much-needed renovations this year thanks for the fundraising efforts of a group of local women.

More than 60 women took to the courts last month as part of an organised ladies charity tournament to raise money for the Women's Refuge.

Event co-organiser Sue Lock said the event raised about $6000 and was a hit with all the women involved who were "hugely enthusiastic" about supporting the cause.



Rape trial gives rare insight into secretive Exclusive Brethren church

The Exclusive Brethren church dominated every area of their lives.

He refused to eat or drink with non-members. She was outcast after obtaining a protection order.

They dedicated almost all their free time to church meetings. But at home, he used a wooden spoon to dish out punishment, and repeatedly raped his wife in their marital bed, as well as his son.

The Palmerston North trial of the Exclusive Brethren man for his son's rape, which ended on Monday with the man guilty of almost all charges, focussed as much on the church as it did on the horrible crimes.

Read more…


Family violence offenders in New Plymouth must wait for help

Domestic abusers who need help to address their violent behaviour are having to wait weeks for assistance.

While other therapeutic interventions are available to offenders in New Plymouth, a programme which specifically targets family violence is not. 

Corelea Easther, Department of Corrections' operations director for the lower north Island, confirmed in a written response to questions that there was no contracted service provider for a specific family violence programme in the city.

Read more…


Young mother rushed to emergency surgery after stabbing in her home

A young mother, stabbed in her Napier home the day before Mother's Day, was left alone and crying for help.

The woman, who was found injured at a house on Kelvin Rd in Maraenui in Napier, was found about 2pm on Saturday, after being stabbed, a Hawke's Bay police spokesman said.

Police believed the incident was the result of a family harm event, and there was no wider risk to the community.

Read more…


Boy removed from home after judge criticises Ministry for Children

A district court judge has criticised the Ministry for Children after it was revealed a man was still living with his son despite having two convictions for assaulting him.

Judge Alistair Garland sentenced the father in a Southland court this month to 150 hours' community work and 12 months' supervision after he pushed his boy into a glass door with such force that the glass broke.

Read more…


Guilt-ridden man sexually abused girl who has no idea it happened

Wracked with guilt, a man confessed his sexual abuse of a young girl to police, despite knowing full well he could be taken to court. 

The man, who Stuff will not name in order to protect the identity of the victim and her family, felt immediate regret about what he had done and sought counselling, before he unburdened himself further to officers last year.

And to this day, the young girl he abused remains completely unaware about what happened to her.

Read more…


Police powerless to stop revenge porn poster because he lives overseas

When Jolene Coxhead's former partner was booted out of New Zealand she thought the abuse would end. It hasn't.

Instead, her ex, who was deported last year after being sentenced for breaching a protection order, has used the internet to torment, harass and threaten the Taranaki woman and her family from thousands of kilometres away. And the police can't do anything about it. 

Read more…

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