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2020

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Weekly Media Roundup

February 21, 2020 at 1:14 PM

1 News: New domestic violence stats show psychological abuse as common as physical

New family violence statistics gathered by the Ministry of Justice show psychological abuse is just as common as physical abuse in New Zealand.

The 'Offences by Family Members' report was released today as part of the wider '2018 New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey', with the findings likely to influence future funding for support services.

The survey, which involved interviewing 8000 New Zealanders about their experience of crime, provides an accurate, up-to-date picture of New Zealand's domestic violence issue, according to Ministry of Justice's manager of research and evaluation James Swindells.

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Newsroom: OT returned injured boy to Flaxmere home

Oranga Tamariki stands accused of returning a four-year-old who had been previously badly injured within a Flaxmere household to the same home, where he has since been severely injured again.

It allegedly did so without full consultation with the wider whānau, some of whom opposed the boy's return.

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NZ Herald: Children's Commissioner Andrew Becroft says right to silence should be abolished

Children's Commissioner Andrew Becroft has called for the right to silence to be abolished, saying that "the fact you might incriminate yourself isn't a reason for not talking".

Becroft's comments come in the wake of the brutal assault on a four-year-old in Hawke's Bay.

Police say the boy, who is in a stable condition at Starship children's hospital, suffered a sustained beating - possibly over days - at a Flaxmere address in late January and will most likely suffer from brain damage.

Speaking to Newshub this morning, Becroft said: "I think [the right to silence] needs to be abolished or amended."

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Stuff: National Party and ACT propose prison for non-disclosure of child abuse

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RNZ: Distrust of justice system preventing family violence victims from getting help

A distrust and reluctance to engage in the criminal justice system is continuing to prevent victims of family harm reporting it to police, support services have said.

A new survey by the Minstry of Justice found almost 80,000 adults were harmed by a family member in 2018 - and very few of those family violence victims are asking for help.

Fifty-one percent of victims reported their harm to someone they knew, whereas only 24 percent of victims reported it to the police themselves.

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Stuff: He said, she said: How we might tackle changes to our sexual consent laws

Should "no means no" be changed to "only yes means yes" when it comes to consent between sexual partners? 

As New Zealand's Parliament considers new rules that will change the way the justice system works in sexual violence cases, changes to our consent laws are also on the table.

Stuff's #MeToo editor Alison Mau investigates how an "affirmative" model of consent could change the landscape, and how it might have made a difference for one woman who fought for years for her case to get to court.

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Newshub: Study shows link between methamphetamine and domestic violence

A new study by the University of Otago has found that nearly a third of Kiwis in their 40s have tried methamphetamine at least once in their lives.

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RNZ: Review: Social Wellbeing Agency to replace social investment approach

The government has finally confirmed what will replace the social investment approach for funding and delivering social services.

The data-driven social investment approach, introduced by National, used a set of indicators to identify and target services to the most disadvantaged people.

It has been under review since the Coalition Government came to power.

Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said the new so-called "social wellbeing approach" would be more people-focused and look at their needs and experiences.

She said data was just one aspect of delivering social services.

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RNZ: Schools resist enrolling children with bad behaviour as principals say they face a 'growing sea of violence'

Schools are increasingly resisting attempts to make them enrol children who have been kicked out of other schools for violent behaviour.

Primary school principals say they are facing a "growing sea of violence" and the Ministry of Education (MoE) has told MPs it is having difficulty directing schools to enrol violent students.

"What we are finding is that some of the behaviour of some of the children that are excluded is so violent that it is difficult to even use secretary's power of direction to get a school to take some of these students," the ministry's deputy director of sector enablement and support, Katrina Casey, told a recent sitting of Parliament's Education and Workforce Select Committee.

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RNZ: The Dunedin Study: Antisocial behaviour and the brain

The Dunedin Study has just released the results of its latest research - this time it is looking at antisocial behaviour.

Researchers have been analysing brain scans of 600 out of the 1000 people who have taken part in in the study.

The longitudinal Dunedin Study started in 1972 and has followed over 1000 individuals since birth. The last time they were assessed was last year when the study participants were 45, Dr Gina Forster from the department of anatomy at the University of Otago says.

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Stuff: Select committee recommends allowing medical practitioners to refuse contraception

The select committee tasked with examining New Zealand's abortion laws has recommended enshrining the right of medical practitioners to refuse emergency contraception in cases of sexual violence.

This has angered campaigners who say it obstructs access to effective contraception, and sidelines the rights of sexual assault survivors. 

The proposed changes would require medical practitioners to declare a conscientious objection to providing emergency contraception "at the earliest opportunity", and provide the contact details of someone else who can provide contraception.

Terry Bellamak, the President of the Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand said that removing conscientious objection in these cases would make the law more effective. 

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RNZ: Ngapera murder trial: Defence lawyer makes impassioned closing address for Karen Ruddelle

The lawyer of a woman accused of murdering her abusive partner says it's a textbook example of what the government was trying to prevent when it introduced new domestic violence laws last year.

Karen Anne Ruddelle claims she was acting in self defence when she stabbed Joseph Ngapera twice in the chest in their Manurewa home, but the prosecution says it was a deliberate killing.

In an impassioned closing address, defence lawyer, Shane Cassidy, listed dozens of instances of physical and verbal abuse that Ngapera inflicted on Ruddelle.

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Stuff: Alleged murder victim could have strangled partner for 'strategic value' - expert

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NZ Herald: Domestic violence expert urges murder trial jury to view 'panoramic perspective', not single moment

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RNZ: Grace Millane's life: Far more than the details of her death

Warning: This story and related coverage of the trial contain graphic details that may be distressing for some readers

"I will let you know what happens tomorrow" - That was the last message Grace Millane sent her best friend, but she never got to tell Ameena Ashcroft about her night. The Brit, in Auckland on the trip of a lifetime, was out on a date with a man who would go on to murder her in his apartment.

Ashcroft was one of the last people to hear from Millane. The pair had grown close while playing hockey together at the University of Lincoln, and different time zones and thousands of kilometres hadn't disrupted their tight friendship.

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RNZ: Grace Millane murderer sentenced to life in prison with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years

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NZ Herald: Car-fire murders: Police under fire for questioning whether Rowan Baxter 'driven too far'

A comment made by a Queensland detective after Brisbane mother Hannah Clarke and her three young children were murdrered by her estranged husband has sparked outrage online and among domestic violence campaigners.

On Thursday, Queensland police held a press conference about their investigation into the horrific car fire that shocked the nation one day earlier.

"Our job as investigators is to keep a completely open mind," Detective Inspector Mark Thompson said.

"We need to look at every piece of information and, to put it bluntly, there are probably people out there in the community that are deciding which side, so to speak, to take in this investigation.

"Is this an issue of a woman suffering significant domestic violence, and her and her children perishing at the hands of the husband?

"Or is it an instance of a husband being driven too far by issues that he's suffered by certain circumstances into committing acts of this form?"

The reactions came thick and fast on Twitter on Thursday afternoon and into the evening.

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NZ Herald: Woman found dead in Tauranga home was new mum and her partner was a double homicide suspect

The woman found dead in a Tauranga home was a new mother and the partner of the man killed by police after a wild shootout during a chase.

The woman, who died in a "domestic incident", lay dead for several days in her Brookfield home.

She had given birth to a baby just two to three months ago, a neighbour said.

It is understood her partner was the man gunned down by police during a pursuit on Thursday night. He was a suspect in the double murder of two men two days earlier at McLaren Falls.

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Newsroom: Police review Lake Alice file after UN decision

Child victims of a notorious North Island psychiatric hospital are still doubtful charges will be laid. David Williams reports

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Stuff: Domestic violence in police: rising reports of abuse by officers

Police quietly started then abandoned a project to address rising reports of domestic violence in their ranks.

Meanwhile, the Women's Refuge boss says it's ridiculous only a quarter of cops found by internal investigators to have committed family violence are charged.

The existence of the Lighthouse Project has become public for the first time following inquires by Stuff.

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RNZ: 'She is not your rehab' meetings to be held in Christchurch

A free group therapy session is being offered for men in Christchurch to help them heal from their past traumas.

The 'She is not your rehab' movement is hosting monthly counselling sessions to empower men to address domestic violence by healing from past traumas through honest conversations.

She Is Not Your Rehab was founded by Matt Brown from Christchurch barbershop My Father's Barbers and he will co-lead the collective with a qualified therapist Phil Siataga.

Siataga said the waitlist for mens' therapy and counselling in Christchurch can be up to six months.

His wife, Sarah Brown said it would be good to see less domestic violence in New Zealand.

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RNZ: Auckland man Martin Marinovich 'snapped' before fatal attack on mother

A man snapped before fatally attacking his mother with a hammer in West Auckland, a court has heard.

Martin Marinovich is on trial at the High Court at Auckland accused of murdering Noeleen Marinovich in Oratia last year.

This morning, Crown prosecutor Elena Mok told the jury Martin Marinovich called 111 in the early hours of 8 February 2019.

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Stuff: Mother's attempted murder of disabled child: A case all too familiar

An inquiry into the death of a disabled woman at the hands of her mother predicted that, without drastic changes to the disability support system, other tragedies would occur. Now, another mother has been sentenced for a similar crime. Brittany Keogh reports.

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NZ Herald: Father of Rotorua 5-year-old Ferro-James Sio charged with murder

The father of a five-year-old Rotorua boy has been charged with his murder.

Police announced today additional charges has been laid in relation to the death of Ferro-James Sio, who died in Rotorua Hospital on February 8.

His father, William James Sio, 24, who was previously charged with assault of a child, has now been charged with murder.

A 28-year-old woman has also been charged with ill treatment/neglect of a child.

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Stuff: Giving evidence against flatmate rapist made victim doubt decision to complain

A woman says the experience of giving evidence against the flatmate who raped her left her thinking it would have been easier for her not to complain.

The man who entered her bedroom when she was asleep and told her he "just needed this now" was sentenced on Tuesday in the Wellington District Court to five years and 10 months' jail.

The pair, both 25, had been flatting together in Wellington in November 2018. He pleaded not guilty but a jury found him guilty of raping her.

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Category: News Media