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Weekly Media Roundup

August 28, 2020 at 3:08 PM

Stuff: 'I was a shell of a human': Why family violence victims don't just leave

It’s the question always asked of domestic violence victims – why don’t you leave? But a new study shows that even when women try to escape their abusers, the support they need isn’t there. Kirsty Johnston reports.

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The Spinoff: My childhood was branded by shame. I’ll no longer let it define me

If we want to address family violence in Aotearoa, we need to change the way we act and think about shame, writes Leilani Tamu.

The following includes discussion of child abuse and trauma.

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RNZ: Children's Commissioner wants age of criminal responsibility raised to 14

Children's Commissioner Andrew Becroft wants the minimum age of criminal responsibility raised from 10 to 14 years.

A report from the Office of the Children's Commissioner says more resources are needed for supporting young offenders to turn their lives around before they reach the criminal age.

Becroft says many people won't be aware of New Zealand's specialised child offender system for child offenders between 10 and 13 years.

"This system takes a welfare rather than a criminal justice approach. It looks at children's offending as something reflecting a context where parents and families don't have the support and resources to raise their children safely."

But the report finds the system isn't working as intended and too many children are not getting the kind of support that might stop their offending. Some become serious youth offenders as 14-17 year olds and are dealt with in the youth justice system, and become adult criminals.

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Newsroom: By community, for community - funding justice

If Aotearoa is to create an effective justice system, services and programmes need to be properly funded. They also need to be delivered by the right people. Laura Walters reports

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RNZ: Govt drops victim advocate Louise Nicholas: 'It's back to battle we go'

Louise Nicholas says the government may be scrapping her role supporting victims of sexual violence, but it won't stop her from doing the work.

Nicholas, herself a rape survivor, told RNZ that she found out over a Zoom call during level 4 lockdown in April that the Ministry for Social Development would not renew her contract as a national advocate for survivors of sexual violence.

Louise has worked for 12 years with victims of abuse - many of them children.

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Newsroom: When the Family Court sees no evil

A former barrister was shocked at the way the Family Court treated her after she left an abusive relationship. She shares her firsthand account of the Family Court process.

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Newshub: Auckland's rough sleepers all housed in temporary accommodation 'for first time ever' - Lifewise

Rough sleepers desperately seeking accommodation in Auckland are currently all in temporary housing, marking a "fantastic" achievement in New Zealand's battle against homelessness, according to Lifewise's chief executive.

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Stuff: Royal Commission launches separate probe into Marylands abuse

Abuse of children at Marylands School in Christchurch from the 1950s to the 1980s will be the subject of a special Royal Commission investigation.

The Royal Commission looking into the abuse of children in state and religious institutions has announced it will inquire separately into events at Marylands.

Marylands was a residential school for boys, many with learning disabilities, run by Catholic brothers of the St John of God order.

The commission is asking for victims, families, staff, witnesses or anyone else with knowledge of abuse at the school to call them confidentially on 0800 222 727.

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RNZ: Marylands School abuse inquiry: 'It's about time'

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Newsroom: Abuse inquiry opens Lake Alice chapter

Royal Commission calls for the victims of a notorious state psychiatric hospital to come forward. David Williams reports.

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Stuff: Election 2020: What women want this election

ANALYSIS: In the 127 years since women have been able to vote, you’d think someone would have asked them what they want.

You would think.

Being a woman or a gender minority in New Zealand is kind of like being in a really tiring relationship with someone who says they just want you to be happy, then eats all the chips. Who professes to care, then leaves you shivering while they hog all the duvet.

When it comes to their grand plans for running the country, have any political parties really considered what will make a difference to the lives of women and girls? Or are most of them just tapping out policies on their notes app, leaving the bathroom with the toilet seat up?

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Stuff: Mental health units breach UN human rights rules, Ombudsman tells Government

The Ombudsman is urging action to fix “serious and persistent” problems at New Zealand’s mental health units, after delivering scathing reports on the state of five units, which found a litany of human rights breaches.

The Ombudsman, Peter Boshier, found two such facilities were in breach of the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, despite previous warnings.

Wellington and Waitakere Hospitals were singled out for particularly harsh criticism.

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Stuff: Nude pics being shared among high school students

The discovery of students sharing explicit photos and ''random nudes'' at a South Canterbury high school has principals across the region calling for parents to work with them to educate and support their children to make better decisions on social media.

The issue was highlighted in a recent Geraldine High School newsletter with deputy principal Ryan Wilson saying "a number of students have been sharing explicit photos with their friends".

"Some of these (pics) are of other students but also what they term 'random nudes' [unsolicited pictures]."

Wilson laid out concerns for students’ wellbeing in the newsletter informing parents that some students as young as year 8 (12-year-olds) were accessing pornography and some senior students had revealed they had been pressured in year 9 to share photos of themselves.

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Stuff: Billy TK Junior terminated as White Ribbon ambassador after complaints

The White Ribbon campaign has ended politician Billy Te Kahika Jr’s​ ambassadorship, saying some of his recent remarks about coronavirus and other issues undermine the trust’s evidence-based approach.

White Ribbon advocates for an end to violence by men against women. Manager​ Rob McCann​ said the White Ribbon Trust​ unanimously agreed Te Kahika Jr potentially brought the movement into disrepute.

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Stuff: Gloriavale's sexual assault policy asks victims to 'forgive' abusers, gives offenders three chances to stop

Sexual assault victims at the secretive religious Gloriavale sect are made to meet with their abuser and forgive them – without police being notified.

Gloriavale leaders then give offenders “second and third chances” to stop offending, along with more rounds of forgiveness and repentance meetings when they fail to stop, before leaders will consider kicking them out of the community.

Any offender expelled for sexual offending is told to contact police themselves. Gloriavale leaders would make a complaint to police if they did not.

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Stuff: Royal commission gathering evidence relating to Gloriavale

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care is looking into Gloriavale, with an investigation into the community possible.

It comes amid revelations Gloriavale leaders forced a 13-year-old girl to sit in a room with a man who allegedly groomed her, because their versions of events did not match up.

Stuff earlier revealed the community’s sexual assault policy gave offenders “second and third chances” to stop offending – along with more rounds of forgiveness and repentance meetings if they failed to stop – before leaders would consider kicking them out of the community.

On Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care, established in 2018, confirmed it had Gloriavale on its radar.

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RNZ: Defence Force accused of neglecting sexual violence programme

Advocates for victims are accusing the Defence Force of a lack of commitment after it left a crucial sexual violence programme leaderless for years.

Operation Respect was launched in 2016 with the aim of tackling sexual violence, harassment and bullying behaviours within the armed forces.

scathing independent report released last month found a lack of transparency and accountability and a "code of silence" culture still existed within the military.

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RNZ: Fiji's domestic violence surge tied to pandemic - minister

Fiji's sharp rise in domestic violence has been linked to the Covid-19 pandemic by victims, Fiji's minister for women says.

The country already has one of the highest reported rates in the world, experienced by two thirds of Fiji's women.

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Category: News Media