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Weekly Media Roundup

May 08, 2020 at 2:46 PM

Stuff: Coronavirus: Oranga Tamariki keeping eyes on kids during the Covid-19 lockdown

When New Zealanders retreated indoors to stop the spread of Covid -19, so did the vulnerable children and families on Whakarau's books.

Staying home has saved lives but the Oranga Tamariki social worker says home isn't always the safest place to be, especially now when the usual watchful community eyes are elsewhere.

While the agency has been fielding about 1000 reports of concern a week during lockdown, that number has dropped by about 40 per cent and it has Whakarau worried. 



Newsroom: What lockdown revealed about child abuse reporting

A drop in reports to Oranga Tamariki during lockdown reflects the fact children have not been at school - often it is teachers who notice and report child abuse or neglect

Read more…


Scoop: Tick For Kids Calls For Greater Visibility Of Children In Government’s Response To Covid-19 Crisis

Press Release: Save the Children New Zealand

Tick for Kids, a coalition of leading children’s organisations, has written to the Prime Minister and key ministers to request that specific focus is given to children and young people as a priority group in the government’s response to the Covid-19 crisis and recovery. The letter is supported by 35 organisations and individuals committed to ensuring the rights and wellbeing of New Zealand’s children and young people are upheld.



RNZ: Providing Social Work During Lockdown?

University of Otago Social and Community Work Associate Professor Emily Keddell and  Brenda Pilott, from Social Service Providers Aotearoa talk about moving social work online during lockdown, and the various challenges for practitioners this presents.

Listen here…


Stuff: Coronavirus: Risk of abuse higher than ever

OPINION: Although there are many things that we, as New Zealanders, can be very proud of, our track record when it comes to assaulting, abusing and harming our partners, children and others, certainly isn't one of them. 

Even in "normal" pre-Covid-19 times, we consistently rank among the top countries globally for our reported rates of sexual abuse and assault, and we have one of the worst child abuse rates in the developed world.

Every year, multiple women, men and children die at the hands of a family member, and thousands of us experience sexual, physical, emotional and psychological harm. 

Living in a lockdown bubble is, for most of us, a long way from normal and tragically the stresses and strains that sit alongside this necessary restriction to our freedom, mean that the risk of experiencing violence or abuse is even higher than ever, and is likely to remain that way for some time. 



Scoop: Keep A Watchful Eye For Lockdown Abuse

Press Release: Child Matters

With some children back at school – and more set to head back when New Zealand eventually moves to Level 2 – teachers, aides and the wider community are urged to keep a close eye on the welfare of children after the COVID-19 lockdown.

Child Matters CEO, Jane Searle says some Level 4 bubbles will not have been a safe place for some children across New Zealand, but this may only become apparent once children go back into their school environments.

“The Lockdown – and ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19 – have been challenging for us all. But for some families, the situation is exacerbated by pre-existing issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, over-crowding, or factors such as stress about loss of employment,” says Mrs Searle.



Stuff: Demand for respite care for Christchurch children expected to soar

A safe haven for children in Christchurch expects appeals for respite care to continue to climb as families struggle with financial difficulties, mental and physical health, addiction and trauma exacerbated by coronavirus.

Governors Bay’s Cholmondeley Children’s Centre provides short term housing for children aged 3 to 12 years. 

The centre reopened its doors for families dealing with “critical issues” as the country moved to Alert Level 3, shifting 30 vulnerable children from 15 families who needed immediate support.

The centre — with its registered teachers, social workers and childcare practitioners — commonly houses children whose family backgrounds include bereavement, financial difficulties, mental and physical health, family harm and trauma. 



NZ Herald: Mt Roskill homicide: Family of victim Tania Hadley heartbroken at loss of their 'rock'

An Auckland family are heartbroken after the alleged murder of Mt Roskill woman Tania Maree Hadley at her home yesterday.

Police arrested and charged a 29-year-old man over the death. He appeared in the Auckland District Court via video link this morning and was granted interim name suppression.

Read more…


NZ Herald: Attacked by his daughter: Elder abuse victim speaks

Elder abuse is a hidden but growing problem in New Zealand. A victim shares his story with Oamaru Mail reporter Gus Patterson.

Abuse is not something which happens overnight – and it can happen to anyone, "Allan" says.

The 78-year-old Oamaru man, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, is getting his life back on track after a horror couple of years of financial, emotional and physical abuse.



NZ Herald: Covid 19 coronavirus: Funeral directors warn rise of violence due to people being unable to grieve

Funeral directors are warning New Zealand could see a rise in violence after thousands of people have been denied the chance say their final goodbyes to loved ones.

It comes as the Government considers whether or not to relax the rules relating to funerals when New Zealand moves into alert level two.

Gary Taylor, president of the Funeral Directors Association New Zealand, said if people were missing out on that stage of grief then they're going to have to deal with it further down the track.

"There's a potential that we could end up seeing more violence within our communities and domestic violence where people are not dealing with those emotions."



Stuff: Online child victimisation referrals up during lockdown, DIA says

The number of cases referred by the United States' National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children to the Department of Internal Affairs for investigation in New Zealand was up 100 per cent in April.

But links to the country's lockdown period, which started on March 25, remain unclear. 



NZ Herald: Multiple fractures: Dad admits assaulting baby girl repeatedly, breaking 14 bones over four months

A man has admitted repeatedly assaulting his baby daughter, causing 14 fractures of varying ages to the child in her first four months of life.

After lying to police and spending more than two years before the courts defending child abuse-related charges the man has now pleaded guilty and will be sentenced.



RNZ: Fiji records increase in domestic violence cases during Covid-19 lockdowns

The Fiji Women's Crisis Centre has warned of a spike in domestic violence during the enforced Covid-19 lockdown and curfew in the country.

The centre said it received more than 400 calls between 1 and 17 April.

The Fiji government also revealed this week that its national domestic violence helpline recorded over 500 calls last month.

Crisis centre coordinator Shamima Ali is concerned at the increase of gender-based violence across Fiji and said huge challenges lay ahead if domestic violence is not addressed now.



RNZ: Increase in family violence in Samoa during lockdown says NGO

The Samoa Victim Support Group says it's noticed a marked increase in family violence since the country went into lockdown six weeks ago.

Its president, Lina Chang, said women and children have in some cases been bearing the brunt of skyrocketing unemployment.

Ms Chang said she's being run off her feet by the volume of callouts in the past month.



Category: News Media