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Weekly Media Roundup

May 25, 2018 at 10:57 AM

Young children pushed to the brink by family violence

New Zealand has high rates of domestic violence and one of the highest suicide rates in the OECD and while some blame failing mental health services, others say a safe home would be a good place to start.

Every year about 10 children are killed by a member of their own family and dozens more end up in hospital with serious injuries.

Police investigated 118,000 cases of domestic violence in 2016.

Between July 2016 and July 2017, 13 children aged between 10 and 14 killed themselves.

Experts and groups such as domestic abuse charity Shine have now drawn the link between violence and youth suicide.

Read more…


Police launch new app to target family harm call-outs

A police app designed to help combat family violence matters is being touted as "world leading" by overseas forces. 

The app, OnDuty Family Harm Investigation, has specific features for addressing family harm as part of New Zealand Police's safer whānau work programme.

It's one of many changes made by the police as they try to tackle family violence. 

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Sister of murder-accused tells court of father's violence

A sister of a man accused of murdering their father says her brother told the family he would rather bear the brunt of their father's violence than watch his family be hurt.

The woman has told a court how her father laid siege to her family and their home on the night he was stabbed to death.

Jurors at the High Court in Auckland have heard how the deceased attempted to kick down the door and damaged his daughter's property while violently threatening members of the family.

The Crown said the accused murdered his father. The son's lawyers said he was acting in self-defence.

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Domestic violence callout every four minutes in NZ

Police figures reveal there is a domestic violence callout every four minutes.

An RNZ Insight investigation has discovered police responded to 121,733 family violence callouts last year, 3000 more than 2016.

Police said it was good more people were asking for help but it estimated up to three-quarters of abuse was never reported.

Police are trialling a scheme to reduce family violence. Whāngaia Ngā Pā Harakeke (nurturing the family) is running in Gisborne, Northland and South Auckland.

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Rape victims who fear cases not taken seriously encouraged to return to police

Rape victims who suspect their historic cases were treated inappropriately are being encouraged to contact police and ask to have their files reviewed.

It follows a Herald investigation this month which found thousands of legitimate sexual assault cases were miscoded as "no crime" prior to 2013.

Rape Crisis spokeswoman Andrea Black said it would support any victim who wanted to go back to police to follow up their assault allegation with a specialist detective.

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Ten-year childhood study: Fascinating findings about New Zealand children

Before they were even born, 7000 Kiwi kids started being tracked by Auckland University researchers.

The Growing Up in New Zealand longitudinal study looks at what shapes children's development and how early interventions might give them the best start in life.

It is 10 years since the study started and the children, recruited from the greater Auckland, Counties Manukau and Waikato district health board areas, have turned 8 and 9.

The Government-funded study intended to follow the families until the children turned 21 but in 2016 National announced funding would be cut.

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

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New child poverty law too narrow - community groups

Community groups have told MPs the proposed law to measure and reduce child poverty is too narrow.

The Child Poverty Reduction Bill sets out the framework for measuring child poverty so the government can set targets to reduce it. The proposed legislation includes 10 measures of poverty and material hardship based on a family's income.

Pakuranga and Howick Budgeting Service financial mentor Adrienne Gallie told MPs at a select committee hearing in Auckland yesterday something was missing from the bill.

"We believe it is household indebtedness and the lack of a measure to actually capture the affordability of loan repayments."

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All teachers share responsibility for sex education, let's support them

OPINION: New Zealand runs a pretty good sex-ed programme. Our health curriculum runs students through a gamut of learning, both about mechanics and relationships. Could it be better? Couldn't everything? But don't blame the PE department. Blame everyone else.

All teachers teach sex education. Although they may be explicitly teaching one thing, it's likely that they are also implicitly teaching others. Sex is part of a broader conversation, the one we begin when we tell our kids to use their manners.

It's a talk about the respect of others that starts at home, but increasingly schools are tasked with the pointy end of it, and increasingly copping the flack for not doing it right.

Sex education has broadened beyond the mechanics of the act/s and its negative consequences. The last couple of years have proven that, more than anything, the respect of other people's boundaries is one of the most critical parts of the sex-ed curriculum.

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#MeTooNZ: Sexual harassment and confidentiality agreements

What is keeping workers from speaking publicly and openly about their experiences of sexual harassment in our workplaces?

Fear for their livelihoods, fear of retaliation – those are common themes, and from what I'm hearing about failure of proper process, often justified.

But there's something else. In the process of investigating sexual harassment in New Zealand workplaces, I've repeatedly come across cases where the survivor feels bound by a non-disclosure agreement they did not want to sign.

Internationally there is a developing consensus that these agreements – effectively they are gag orders – are harmful to the public good in keeping the names of perpetrators, and details of their abuse, secret.

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Deprivation in formative years reflected in statistics

Parenting needs to be treated as the most important undertaking of any person’s life, writes Janet Yiakmis.

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I’m a single mum living in poverty

What is it like to be a mother living in poverty? Carissa Allen shares her story.

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Man who bashed his girlfriend to death over texts gets life in prison

In a landmark ruling, a man who beat his girlfriend to death in a fit of rage has been jailed for life, with a minimum non-parole period of 20 years.

Dylyn Davis, 26, beat his girlfriend Aroha Kerehoma to a bloody pulp in the Dominion Rd garage where they lived in Nawton, Hamilton, after becoming enraged that she had sent text messages to a former partner saying she felt unsafe.

Then he walked away, Kerehoma lying battered and motionless on the floor. She had initially survived the brutal assault that Davis subjected her to soon after midnight on Sunday, February 4, and may have lived had he called for an ambulance.

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Accused apologised to alleged victim on social media

After allegedly being raped twice in a Dunedin walkway, a woman found the man on Facebook and demanded an apology.

And 29-year-old Nyal Heke responded: "I'm really sorry."

He is on trial before the Dunedin District Court after pleading not guilty to two counts of rape.

Read more…


Solicitor-General appeals sentence given to mum who kept daughter as sex slave

The Solicitor-General is appealing the sentence given to an Auckland mum who kept her teen daughter as a sex slave for nearly two years, and is seeking harsher terms.

Kasmeer Lata, 36, was jailed for six years and 11 months by Justice Matthew Muir last month for dealing in slaves, dealing in a person under 18 for sexual exploitation, and receiving earnings from commercial sexual services from an underage person.

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Jehovah's Witness helped rescue teenager sold for sex

The case of a teenager who was sold for sex by her mother and her partner only came to light thanks to a chance meeting with a Jehovah's Witness.

The Jehovah's Witness met Kasmeer Lata's daughter while she was knocking on doors in the teenager's neighbourhood.

RNZ understands the pair formed a friendship and attended church together before the offending happened.

After the teenager was forced to have sex about 1000 times for money over a 18-month period, she reconnected with the Jehovah's Witness and began telling her what had happened.

With her help, the teenager then went to police to tell them about the sexual exploitation.

Read more…


Family violence stats reversed in Flaxmere project

Police are claiming a major turnaround in some of Hawke's Bay's serial domestic violence incidents in a project that has targeted 37 families with a combined history of 1092 "family harm" reports.

The deluge averaged almost 30 a family, or more than 10 per child across the 102 children in the families, but according to Police 21 couples are now "violence-free", another 11 have seen a decrease in the level of violence, and there's been a 57 per cent decrease in the number of callouts to the homes of "participants".

Among the by-products is a near six-fold increase in employment statistics — from 8 per cent to 46 per cent, with another 8 per cent doing further training.

Read more…


Sergeant accused of sexual assaults admits using police computer to look up women

A Taranaki police sergeant has admitted using a work computer to access confidential details of four women, two of whom he's accused of indecently assaulting. 

In his first court appearance on the matter, Kimberlee Frederick Knight Vollmer has denied 11 sex charges but pleaded guilty to four counts of accessing the police computer system for dishonest reasons.

The sex charges, which include one count of unlawful sexual connection with a female over the age of 16 and ten of indecent assault, span nine years and include six complainants.

Read more…


Tragedy 'inevitable' at family court in Christchurch's new justice precinct

A recent incident at Christchurch's Family Court highlights the risk of tragedy arising from the design of the city's new courthouse, lawyers say.

Waiting areas around family courtrooms at the city's $300 million new justice and emergency services precinct have balconies with a three-storey drop to the ground-floor atrium below.

Grant Tyrrell, vice-president of the New Zealand Law Society's Canterbury-Westland branch, said the glass balustrades were high enough to prevent an accidental fall. However a person could easily hurl someone over the top, he said.

Since the precinct opened last year lawyers had been concerned at the risk, in a court area where people can be in states of heightened emotion, agitated or distressed, or affected by drugs, Tyrrell said.

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NZ Law Society denies 'threatening' free speech over an investigation into lawyer who criticised domestic violence ruling

The President of the NZ Law Society has denied they suppressed free speech during a highly publicised investigation into the professional conduct of an Auckland lawyer for criticising a judge's domestic violence ruling.

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Family bus draws attention to issue

When the Lane family arrive in a town in their big yellow bus, they do not look like typical child-abuse campaigners.

The family, film-makers Erinna and Chris and their four children aged between 6 and 10, left their home in Te Awamutu a year ago to travel all over New Zealand, filming for their child abuse awareness project, Stop the Bus.

"We have four main objectives: to promote the wellbeing of children in New Zealand, to educate people of harm reduction groups, to benefit community groups helping the vulnerable and to inspire members of the public to make a difference in their communities,'' Mrs Lane said.

Read more…


Police and rugby union unite to tackle domestic violence

A donation of 10 mobile phones will offer a lifeline to the victims of domestic and family harm, and continues the South Canterbury Rugby Football Union's campaign to stamp out violence in the region.

The union has donated the phones as part of its Stand Up campaign, which draws on the sport's strong influence in the community to create positive change.

The phones will be given to victims who have no way of calling 111 in the event of a domestic violence incident.

Read more…


Jailed nine months for violent attacks

His partner was not some 18th century property item to be controlled, dominated and dictated to, a man sentenced for family violence was told by a judge.

George Gage Rangihuna, 42, bushman, pleaded guilty to two breaches of a protection order, two charges of assaulting a female, and threatening to kill.

Judge Warren Cathcart jailed Rangihuna for nine months.

Read more…


Education Council reveals the number of teachers disciplined for sexual misconduct

He stops strumming his battered Framus acoustic guitar to take a drag of his rolled up Port Royal cigarette.

Sam* inhales the rum-soaked tobacco deeply, almost burning through half the cigarette in one drag.

He holds the smoke in longer than expected and closes his eyes. The exhale eventually comes with a sigh. He hates talking about that time.

The times his teacher fondled him, then bought him gifts to keep him quiet.

Read more…


Jury clears man of sexual abuse charges

A Dunedin cleaner accused of sexually abusing a child for nearly three years has been cleared by a jury.

Aniket Sumeet Kumar (23) was on trial before the Dunedin District Court for nearly a week before the 12 not-guilty verdicts came in on Monday evening following six hours' deliberation.

Kumar faced a range of allegations including counts of indecent assault and sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection.

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Families devastated about closure of support villages for kids with emotional trauma

Families are devastated about the closure of two support villages for children suffering from emotional trauma.

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Dunedin man jailed for brutal assault on partner who made him a 'rubbish' breakfast

A man who subjected his partner to a brutal attack after a ''rubbish'' breakfast has been jailed for two and a-half years.

Jade Allan Thomas Wilson, 35, appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday on nine charges covering four sets of offences last year.

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'Let go of Mummy': Child witnesses drunk assault

While Anthony Gregory Hall grabbed his partner around the throat, the woman's 4-year-old daughter screamed at him to stop.

"Let go of Mummy. You're hurting Mummy," the girl begged the 25-year-old Mosgiel man.

But the pleas only fuelled Hall's fury on the evening of December 29. He screamed obscenities at the crying child, sending her to her room.

Read more…

Category: News Media