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Weekly Media Roundup

June 12, 2020 at 2:31 PM

Stuff: Breaking Silence - Stories of hope and survival beyond domestic abuse

For Simonne Butler, a violent attack by the man she lived with left her in hospital critically injured. Her journey to recovery is ongoing, as is her commitment to stop domestic abuse in Aotearoa.  

Breaking Silence is a video series that shares Simonne’s story and follows her as she meets people around the country who are working with determination to raise awareness about the abuse cycle and how it can be changed. She discovers a range of responses from those making a difference: from practical support in setting up a new household to working with men on how to be emotionally open. We hear the personal stories from fathers and husbands who once thought their lives were untouched by domestic violence, who now actively campaign to spread knowledge about how family harm is often hidden from plain sight.

Breaking Silence captures many voices speaking a single truth - abuse thrives in secrecy, ending abusive behaviour requires self-knowledge and the courage to speak out.

Watch here…


RNZ: Māori mothers describe child welfare system as dangerous and brutal in new report

Māori mothers of newborns involved with Oranga Tamariki say the child welfare system is dangerous, brutal and racist.

Their experiences have been detailed in a report from the Children's Commissioner, which was released today.

Judge Andrew Becroft is calling for fundamental change at the Children's Ministry, saying the system is racist and is being let down by some poor social work.



Scoop: ANZASW Update

Press Release: Aotearoa NZ Association of Social Workers

Yesterday morning (June 8 2020) the Office of the Children’s Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft released a new report Te Kuku O Te Manawa. The report is focussed on changes that need to occur within Oranga Tamariki to enable pēpi Māori aged 0-3 months to remain in the care of their whānau; a goal that ANZASW fundamentally supports and promotes.

ANZASW welcomes the report recommendations that highlight the need for social workers to practice ethically and professionally in all areas of their work. However, ANZASW is alarmed that the report singles out social workers as the perpetrators of unprofessionalism, racism and brutality. An accusation that ANZASW is deeply concerned by.



NZ Herald: Baby uplifts: Mother discovered her newborn would be taken while she was in labour



Newsroom: Powerful wāhine voice in child protection review



Newsroom: One for the PM’s reading list



Scoop: Royal Commission Seeks Information From Faith-based Abuse Survivors On Their Claims For Redress

Press Release: Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry

The Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry is appealing for information from survivors who reported the abuse they suffered while in faith-based care and sought redress either directly from the Church or other Faith-based Institution or by filing civil proceedings in Court or the Human Rights Review Tribunal.

It would like to hear about their experiences of seeking and receiving redress in the form of financial settlement or non-monetary processes (such as an apology, counselling, etc.), and any suggestions for how claims processes could be improved or made more effective.

The Commission is also keen to hear from anyone who may have knowledge of a claim of abuse in Faith-based care, or claims related to abuse in the Catholic Church, Anglican Church or Salvation Army, whether as family or whānau of a survivor, a legal representative, a professional, or defendant in any claim.



Stuff: Domestic violence: How to spot the signs of an abusive relationship

Every four minutes police respond to a family violence incident, but many more go unreported and unseen.

This sobering fact is the driving force behind domestic violence service Shine's latest campaign, 'It Isn't Always Obvious', launched this month.

The campaign, a series of videos on social media and billboards across Auckland, show short text message conversations that appear innocent enough – "Nah, he doesn't like it when I'm out late" – but are based on real situations of domestic abuse.



Stuff: New New Zealand documentary sheds light on teen mums in Hamilton

Fraser High School set up a teen parent unit, He Puāawai, to help teenage mothers. The unit encourages young mums to stick to their studies. They can hit the books and bring their baby to school.

A new two-part documentary on TVNZ1, High School Mums, follows the young women who seek help from the teen parent unit.



Stuff: National Party says Sexual Violence Bill could hurt right to fair trial

The Opposition says a proposed sexual violence law could lock people up without a fair trial.

The National Party’s “reservations” about two aspects of the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill meant the evenly-balanced Justice Select Committee was unable to agree to recommend that it be passed in its current form.

The Government Bill, which passed its first reading in Parliament in November, aims to reduce the trauma that sexual violence complainants may experience when they attend court and give evidence. It does not require the Select Committee's approval in order to become law.



Stuff: Severely beaten Flaxmere boy released after months in hospital

A 4-year-old Flaxmere boy who was critically injured in an alleged assault in January has been released from hospital.

On January 29, police found the boy on Ramsey Cres with injuries covering his entire body. He also suffered a head injury that had caused significant brain damage.

The boy spent several months at Starship Hospital in Auckland.



NZ Herald: Sexual abuse survivor shares all in book to help others come forward

It took Alex Dean more than 10 years to tell a soul what had happened to him, and now he is telling the world all about it in his book, Buried Alive: A story of hate and acceptance.

Alex was sexually abused by his stepfather during his early teenage years but it wasn't until Alex and his wife were thinking about having children themselves that Alex realised he couldn't keep living how he was.



Scoop: Elder Abuse Hits Close To Home For Victims

Press Release: Age Concern Auckland

As we approach World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15th Age Concern Auckland’s CEO, Kevin Lamb is calling for all Aucklanders to take a stand and speak out against elder abuse, which in 4 out of 5 cases is committed by a member of the victim’s family.

Kevin Lamb says, “In 81% of cases that Age Concern Auckland deals with the abuse is happening at the hands of a family member, and in 2 out 3 cases the victim lives with their abuser. The fact that so many of the abusers are family members means that frequently cases of elder abuse aren’t reported because there is a fear with older people that if they speak-out they will lose the only social support network they have. However, Age Concern Auckland can work with older people to retain that relationship if that’s what they want, so older people shouldn’t be afraid to speak up if they are experiencing elder abuse.”



NZ Herald: Health experts: Why NZ needs a pandemic inquiry

Scientists are pushing for an official inquiry into New Zealand's response to Covid-19, arguing it would better prepare the country for the next big crisis.

While the Government launched an inquiry into urgent legislation it used to implement its alert level system and lockdown, it hasn't announced an independent probe into its wider response – something Act leader David Seymour has repeatedly called for.

Now, a group of Otago University experts have also asked for one, pointing out that while New Zealand had done an "extraordinarily successful job" of stopping the virus, a wide-ranging inquiry was still critical.

The researchers saw a need to find out more about costs and level of acceptability that had come with New Zealand's "go hard, go early" stance – pointing out that low-income Kiwis could have come off hardest, and that the lockdown likely worsened mental distress, food insecurity and domestic violence.

Read more…


RNZ: Move to 'real world' will cause anxiety for some - psychologist

Mental health workers are bracing for a surge in anxiety cases under alert level 1, as people feel distressed by the return to a more hectic world after the calm of the previous levels.

The Cabinet will decide today whether to move to level 1, which has no restrictions on physical distancing and gathering sizes.

Victoria University clinical psychologist Dougal Sutherland said many people found they settled into lockdown level 4 quite well.

"[They went] 'Ah, actually this is safe, it's controllable, it's predictable, I know what's going to happen, I can pretty much control everything around me.'"

As the country moved down the alert levels, the changes caused anxiety levels to spike again and again.



NZ Herald: Covid-19 lockdown crime: Thieves steal everything including dirty socks

Family violence and child harm numbers looked good on paper - but experts say the reality was most likely quite different.

According to police statistics the number of child protection reports halved, breaches of a violence order were down by nearly a third, domestic violence callouts dropped by a fifth and family harm investigations reduced by 4.3 per cent.

However, Women's Refuge chief executive Dr Ang Jury said it was highly unlikely those numbers reflected a drop in family violence.

"I certainly don't believe there was, unless everyone that was using violence was watching Jacinda Ardern when she told them to be kind and decided 'yes that's exactly what I'll do'."

"I think the crime stats actually just demonstrate that there was a great deal of trouble for people to actually seek help. If you are in the same house as somebody it's hard to reach out for help."



NZ Herald: Fatal stabbing in Moerewa: Teen, 18, charged with male assaults female

A teenager fatally stabbed at a Northland party is the fifth homicide victim in New Zealand in less than a week. Party-goers desperately tried to save the teenager after he was stabbed.

Another teenager has been charged with assault after the fatal stabbing in Moerewa on Sunday. The 18-year-old has been arrested and charged with male assaults female. He is due to appear in Kaikohe District Court on Monday.



Category: News Media