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Weekly Media Roundup

November 09, 2018 at 4:16 PM

Family Violence Bills pass third reading

The Family Violence Bill and the Family Violence (Amendments) Bill have both passed their third readings in Parliament and will become law.

Minister of Justice Andrew Little says Aotearoa is committed to tackling family and sexual violence.

“Family violence is our nation’s great shame. One in three New Zealand women experience physical or sexual violence from a partner in their lifetime. We don’t just have a problem, we have a crisis. 

“Meaningful change for victims demands that we build a society where violence is not tolerated, where perpetrators are held to account for their actions, and where the wellbeing of all is prioritised. These Bills are a significant step forward.

“But changing the law is only part of the solution. The Coalition Government boosted family violence support services by $76 million in Budget 2018, to support the new legislative foundation for ongoing change. All New Zealanders have a role to play in making our country violence-free,” said Andrew Little.

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'We've got a real problem with sexual violence' - Sexual health results concerning says Jan Logie

The results of New Zealand's first sexual health survey have been released, showing 11 per cent of women respondents reported an incident of sex against their will.

The Government has called this figure unacceptable and a concern. 

The Ministry of Health Heterosexual Health Survey found 96 per cent of men were willing on their first sexual experience, however it dropped to 84 per cent for women. 

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Big Read: Raising the youth justice age

From July, young people won't go before District Court until they're 18, except in serious cases such as murder, manslaughter, sexual assaults and aggravated robbery.

Criminal lawyer Gene Tomlinson says the change will allow more interventions at a crucial point in the development of young people.

And if those interventions are successful they may not reoffend.

"Whereas if they had attended the District Court they'd be making the connections we don't want 17-year-olds to have in order to keep them away from a life of crime."

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The struggle to house child sex offenders and keep society safe

Many of us would prefer they were out of sight and out of mind, but experts suggest it doesn't mean we are necessarily out of danger.

Child sex offenders are among the most despised people in society. They are considered beyond the pale, and that is where we tend to push them. 

Spurned by those around them, they are moved by powerful surges of outrage, sometimes even revulsion. From community to community, boarding house to hostel and hotel, and finally together, a cluster of untouchables.

Worried parents reached for their pitchforks and pushed them out of town, while academics and others questioned whether that actually made us any safer.

They pointed to research showing we are at more risk from those we know than the stranger on our streets. More than 20 years on, that is still the case.

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Ambitious artwork explores difficult journey for women and children who end up in refuge

Social practice artists Bernie Harfleet and Donna Turtle Sarten are giving new meaning to the term "artist's palette".

The West Auckland duo is well-known for making art that confronts issues like child poverty, mental health, homelessness, war and domestic abuse. This year, they return to the biennial Sculpture OnShore exhibition – the largest fundraiser for New Zealand Women's Refuge – with an artwork that uses 540 wooden pallets.

Standing at the Glendene headquarters of The Pallet Company, Harfleet and Turtle Sarten are surrounded by thousands of pallets destined to transport goods all over the world. Their Sculpture OnShore work, Why Don't You Just Leave?, highlights a journey of a different kind.

"It talks about the work women's refuge does and the journey of those women and children who go to refuge," says Harfleet, a former special education teacher and self-taught artist. "We called it Why Don't You Just Leave? because that's what women get asked all the time and the artwork itself involves a long journey through the pallets. They might be able to see the way out, but how difficult is it to find it?"

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540 wooden pallets create a confronting maze on Auckland's North Shore

540 stark wooden pallets make up a provocative wooden sculpture, part of the Sculpture OnShore exhibition in Auckland, which aims to highlight the difficulty women and children face trying to leave an abusive relationship.

Titled "Why don't you just leave," the headline piece of art was created by West Auckland duo Bernie Harfleet and Donna Tutle Sartern.

“This work…a maze... really talks about the lives of the women and children that are in violent family situations and seek refuge.” says Mr Harfleet.

Women's Refuge chief executive Ang Jury says many people don't realise just how hard it is for women to disentangle themselves and find a way out of abusive relationships.

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Identifying Maori approaches to reducing violence

University of Waikato researchers are undertaking the first national survey to establish the extent of family and sexual violence for Māori.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has given awarded over $2 million dollars in funding to the Waka Eke Noa. The research project is being led by Associate Professor Leonie Pihama, Director of Te Kotahi Research Institute. The first national survey or its kind is a critical part of the wider 4 year project, which will provide an evidence based measure of the prevalence of family and sexual violence for Māori, and extend that to prevention and intervention grounded in Māori culturally defined programmes and initiatives.

The Ministry rated He Waka Eke Noa one of its top ten funded projects, and says it has the potential to reduce violence for Māori and non-Māori, as well as save resources in a wide range of sectors including health, justice, and corrections. ‘He waka eke noa’ refers to collective efforts toward achieving a goal. In this specific context it refers to collective responsibilities and obligations to stopping family violence within whānau, hapu, and iwi.

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Strikes keeping people in custody – lawyer

Industrial action by Ministry of Justice staff is affecting the running of the court system, and leading to people being held in custody who would otherwise be granted bail.

On Wednesday, court staff went on a half-day nationwide strike, following seven weeks of industrial action, which included rolling lightning strikes, work-to-rule and no overtime.

About 2500 Ministry of Justice workers are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), and walked off the job. Union workers include court reporters, security officers, registry officers, victim advisors, Family Court co-ordinators, workers at the ministry’s head office, and in specific courts like the Māori Land Court.

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Laughing Samoan member speaks out about domestic abuse history

For 13 years, the Laughing Samoans entertained audiences with their unique style of island humour.

One half of the Laughing Samoans was Eteuati Ete.

He says when people came to their show or put on a Laughing Samoans DVD he felt he was helping people forget about their problems.

Now, he's on a different journey and his goal is to help families address family violence.

It's his own story he shares to audiences now and with his wife Mele at his side they are now talking at family violence conferences around New Zealand.

The couple spoke to Tagata Pasifika about the turbulent early years of their marriage. 

Watch here…


New gaming app aims to thwart domestic violence

A new gaming app is set to launch in New Zealand, designed for health professionals to engage with young people experiencing domestic violence. 

App creator Davina Smolders, a graduate of the Vodafone Foundation's Change Accelerator programme, spoke to Duncan Garner on The AM Show to talk about the app that's tackling mental health and domestic violence. 

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Screening of volunteers expensive but keeps boys safe

Press Release: Big Buddy

As an Auckland junior rugby coach and teacher aide was found guilty of close-on one hundred sexual abuse charges against boys last week, the team at a North Island male-mentoring programme for fatherless boys is deeply saddened, yet assured. Despite past suggestions that their rigorous volunteer screening process is too expensive to be used nationally, they are reminded that it is well worth the time and money.

Big Buddy are reputed to own and deliver New Zealand’s most intensive screening programme that recruits men from the community to be positive male role models to fatherless boys between 7 and 14 years. Big Buddy staff, police, doctors, long and short-term friends (including at least one woman) and psych specialists look into or vouch for the character of applicants. The group decision on suitability is made over about 8 weeks.

Years ago, Big Buddy’s then CEO, Richard Aston, pitched the high-level ‘safest –yet’ model to some of New Zealand’s most well-known community and government organisations with a duty of care to children, but they all said that, per unit, it was too costly .

 “If we added up everything it costs to run our programme and average it by the number of boys each year, we’re looking at in the region of $8000. Other organisations are only willing to pay a fraction of that cost. So yes, some say $8000 is a lot of money; we say you can’t put a price on the wellbeing of a boy without a dad, a boy who is already in a very vulnerable position.”

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Parents' synthetic cannabis abuse left children in home with little food and no power

A couple spent the majority of their household income on drugs, leaving their two children with little food in a home sometimes without electricity, a court was told.

The man and woman, from Taranaki, have each pleaded guilty to two charges of ill treatment/neglect of a child under 18 years of age between August 2016 and June 2018.

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Horse trainer Michael Breslin sexually assaulted woman but penalty ‘not tough enough’

Two years ago, a young woman was sexually assaulted by prominent horse trainer Michael Breslin during New Zealand Cup festivities. Despite compelling evidence – security footage, text messages and an admission – he was never charged by police. Why? And was it a one-off? Blair Ensor and Michelle Duff investigate. 

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Regional working group to address domestic violence

Eleven Pacific countries are to form a regional working group to address domestic violence in the Pacific.

This comes following a meeting in Fiji last month involving government staff responsible for domestic violence legislation and representatives from national domestic violence taskforces and committees.

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Why this Auckland man created all-female ridesharing service DriveHer for women

An Auckland ridesharing service designed for women only is gearing up to launch next month and give competitors Uber and Zoomy a run for their money.

DriveHer, founded and funded by 23 year-old Joel Rushton, has been set up with the intention to make women feel safe and comfortable.

The service will launch on December 3 and have a team of all-female drivers.

Men will be able to use the service - but only with female passengers, and they won't be able to sit in the front seat.

Rushton, a third-year law student, says he was motivated to start the ridesharing service based on experiences he had grown up around with domestic violence, and situations some of his friends had been in.

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High demand for PNG counselling hotline

Papua New Guinea's first national telephone counselling hotline has had to broaden its service to cater for demand after receiving more than 15,000 calls over the past year.

The hotline was established by NGO ChildFund PNG, initially as a service for survivors of gender-based violence and predominantly women and children.

ChildFund's Wesh Siku said more than two-thirds of women in PNG experience domestic violence.

"When the project was actually designed, [it was] designed to assist survivors of gender-based violence and it just complemented those services that have already been established. The primary focus was to support survivors of gender-based violence, mainly women and even children."

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Women not treated equal: Deputy mayor

Invercargill deputy mayor Rebecca Amundsen says she gets angry when people assume she is Mayor Tim Shadbolt's personal assistant or minder.

Women are not treated equal, Amundsen says, so she is trying to address the issue.

She is the co-organiser of the Kick in the Door [kind] Women's Group which was formed several months ago to mark the 125th anniversary of women winning the right to vote.

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Appeal court president queries parole for domestic violence leading to death

A "moderately uniform" approach that could see offenders serving more jail time before parole in cases of domestic violence leading to death has been discussed in the Court of Appeal.

The court's president said on Thursday that the escalation of domestic violence against adults and children leading to death had reached an epidemic level.

There was an argument for a moderately uniform approach where offenders could not expect to be eligible for parole after serving one-third of prison sentences, Justice Stephen Kos said.

He asked whether there was a need for clear denunciation for domestic violence leading to death that would not allow release after ⅓ of a prison sentence. 

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West Auckland house targeted by 'mob' after high profile sex offender outed on Facebook

West Auckland residents are fuming after a vigilante "mob" descended on a quiet street to target a convicted sex offender - destroying property and leaving a mess of broken eggs and debris.

A concerned resident posted details of the sex offender on Facebook earlier this week.

Ronald Van Der Plaat is subject to an extended supervision order after his most recent release from prison.

He was jailed for 14 years in 2000 for raping his daughter and subjecting her to "bizarre and depraved" sexual abuse between 1983 and 1992.

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Dunedin man Damien Walters jailed after threats to 'rip apart', eat ex-girlfriend

A Dunedin man who threatened to eat his ex-girlfriend and ''rip her apart'' has been jailed for a year.

But the time Damien Tehira Walters spent in custody means he will be released imminently, the Dunedin District Court heard last week.

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Ex-Tomorrow People singer Marcus Abraham let off domestic violence charge

The former lead singer of Kiwi reggae band Tomorrow People has been let off a charge of assaulting his ex-girlfriend.

Marcus Abraham was discharged without conviction on the charge of common assault in the Hutt Valley District Court this afternoon.

Abraham first appeared in court in April after the victim posted photos of her bruised face on social media saying he had abused her.

He was kicked out of the band after the initial allegations came out, and the band released a statement at the time saying they did not condone domestic violence.

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St Marys Bay attacker revealed as serial offender, sentenced to prison

A man who dragged an Auckland jogger into bushes before strangling and sexually assaulting her has been sent to prison.

Avin Ivory Lock appeared in the Auckland District Court today after pleading guilty to assault with intent to commit sexual violation.

Despite Lock already having a lengthy criminal history, Judge Russell Collins was the first judge to send him to prison and also imposed a minimum period of imprisonment to protect the public.

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Taranaki father Philip Kinraid who smothered daughter to death with pillow to be released from prison

A father who smothered his 2-year-old daughter to death with a pillow will be freed from prison - despite still maintaining her death was "an accident".

Philip Murray Kinraid was convicted and jailed for the manslaughter of Esme Claire Kinraid at their Hawera home on June 26, 2015.

On an undisclosed date this month he will be released.

The Taranaki father of two was putting his children, including a crying Esme, to bed and wrapped his daughter in a blanket.

However, Esme kicked it off, which led to the burly man flipping the toddler over and placing her face down on a pillow. He then pressed down on the back of Esme's head with his arm.

In November 2016, the chemical engineer pleaded guilty to the toddler's manslaughter - but only after a judge ruled evidence for a murder charge was inadmissible.

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Judge issues final warning for domestic violence to Whanganui man who punched his partner in the face twice

Ricky Jackson Winiata and his partner had been together for close to 15 months when an argument erupted between them that resulted in him assaulting her.

They were travelling in a car together at night when Winiata saw she had received a Facebook message and he immediately became enraged.

Winiata appeared in Whanganui District Court on Tuesday where he was sentenced by Judge Barbara Morris having pleaded guilty to a charge of male assaults female.

Judge Morris said Winiata had a controlling nature.

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Man's violence included attacks on partner and the family cat, court hears

Pushed to the ground and pinned to the floor by her partner, a woman screamed to a 10-year-old child for help, a court has heard. 

Daniel Flores Bascara, 28, had grabbed his victim by her hair and shoved her into their dresser so hard all the objects on it fell off, a police summary of facts said.

The woman hit her hip as she fell down, then Bascara stood over her, pushed her on to her back and held her down by the upper arms.

When she started screaming for help, he put his hand over her mouth.

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Abusive husband jailed for 15 years after more than two decades of attacks

A woman says she still fears for her life after her husband was jailed for raping, kidnapping and assaulting her over more than two decades.

The man does not have name suppression, but his name cannot be reported because the victim was his wife of 26 years.

His first jury trial at the Christchurch District Court had to be aborted because of issues about his legal representation. He then pleaded guilty during his second trial after his wife and two other witnesses had given evidence.

Read more…

Category: News Media