Weekly Media Roundup

October 09, 2020 at 4:29 PM

Stuff: Covid-19: Family violence spiked after news of level 4 lockdown, new data shows

Family violence reports soared as New Zealand reeled from the news it was going into level 4 lockdown, new figures show.

On March 24, the day after the announcement, 645 reports of family violence were made to police –second only to New Year’s Day, typically a peak for family violence incidents.

The report draws together data from the Family Court in Auckland, police and Oranga Tamariki, and shows that while family violence increased, the reporting of harm to other agencies went down.

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Newshub: Shine sees rapid rise in 'brutal' domestic violence calls since lockdown

Domestic violence non-profit Shine says it has seen more "brutal" violence and a doubling of calls from women who need help since the first lockdown began.

Shine says the "significant increase" in calls since April have meant its refuges are full and women and children have been put up in temporary motel accommodation instead.

Staff already working nights and weekends are "struggling" to keep up with the increased number of calls, especially during the weekends, it says.

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Stuff: Mother-of-seven becomes first Assistant Māori Children's Commissioner

Protecting the right of tamariki Māori to live in a world free of racism in all its forms is a key ambition outlined by the country’s first assistant Māori commissioner for children.

Mother-of-seven, including three whāngai children, Glenis Philip-Barbara has been appointed to the newly-created position by children’s commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft in an announcement on Wednesday.

“I think in terms of an advocacy organisation for New Zealand’s 1.1 million children, we need to have a Māori world view, a Māori perspective, a Māori knowledge base embedded in the governance of the Office, and that would benefit all New Zealand’s children, but particularly the 300,000 or so Māori,” Becroft said.

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NZ Herald: Stories, rules, relationships: New research on kids and self-control

Self-control is part of a group of skills that helps kids - and adults - manage their thoughts, actions and emotions so they can get things done.

Reading and telling stories to children, having rules around screen time, warm and responsive parenting - these are some of the key family behaviours associated with better self-control in children, a new study shows.

But experts say it is a complex skill that develops over time and fluctuates in early childhood.

The new study is part of Growing Up in New Zealand, the country's largest longitudinal study currently following the lives of 6,000 children from before they were born.

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Stuff: There are real risks in waiving the right to silence

OPINION: The proposal to abolish the right to silence in child abuse cases has raised its head again, but what does it mean, and who would it apply to?

The right to silence is a centrepiece of what are known as “due process rights” in criminal law – the rights that protect individuals from abuse of power by the state. In its usual form it is a right that applies to suspects, so that it is the means by which we protect the presumption of innocence associated with the right not to incriminate yourself.

The centuries-old right to silence for suspects has undergone some erosion in recent years – since 1994 in the UK, for example, adverse inferences may be drawn from a person’s silence. This reform reflects a commonly held view that, if a person was innocent and had nothing to hide, they’d surely speak up, wouldn’t they?

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NZ Herald: Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry: Payouts far less than other countries

New Zealand survivors of abuse in state care are compensated less than a fifth of comparable countries, lawyers representing thousands of victims say.

As of March last year, the Ministry of Social Development had paid out about $27.6 million to 1450 survivors, averaging just over $19,000 each, with a top payment of $80,000.

This paled in comparison to Ireland, where a similar process paid survivors on average just over $108,000, to a maximum of $522,000.

In Australia, survivors were receiving substantially more; the National Redress Scheme pays out on average $80,466 per claim.

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RNZ: Victims, IHC and lawyers combine in new chapter of a never-ending process

Analysis - The initial part of the latest round of public hearings for the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care has now ended - or, depending on how one reads these things, just begun.

Judge Coral Shaw and four commissioners in Auckland this past fortnight heard from people who have sought redress for abuse experienced at one or other of the 26 state-run residences that operated around the country from the 1950s onwards.

The inquiry, the terms of reference for which are so wide as to be extrinsic to the brief that was originally announced nearly three years ago, is also examining claims relating to faith-based institutions.

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Stuff: 'We have failed': NZ women's groups give scathing update to United Nations on gender-based violence

New Zealand has failed to make meaningful progress in addressing its horror record of violence against women despite the same issues being raised again and again, frustrated women’s groups have told a United Nations watchdog.

In forthright submissions ahead of a rare mid-term update on the country’s gender rights record, the organisations say they have done all they can to hold the Government to account since the committee last met.

“However, our efforts to date have failed. The Government is well aware of the issues and has chosen not to take appropriate action to investigate or remedy them,” the domestic violence charity Backbone Collective said. “As a result, children and women continue to be harmed.”

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Stuff: The dark side of university: 28 per cent of students experience sexual assault, Otago study finds

A study of students at Otago University has found 28 per cent experienced sexual violence, with 15 per cent reporting experiences of rape.

The study, of 1540 students, found one third did not tell anyone about their experience, and another third only told one close person.

Those working in the sector say the numbers are not surprising, with the results similar to other New Zealand and international studies.

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Newshub: The spotlight's back on New Zealand's domestic violence rates

Family violence is often referred to as 'New Zealand's dirty little secret'.

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the OECD, around 13 women die at the hands of their partners every year.

What has happened in our Kiwi cultural history to influence this? How can we make a change?

Kay Douglas is a psychotherapist, abuse survivor and author who has dedicated her life to changing these statistics.

Her new book 'Men Making Changes', which was out last week, aims to help that.

Watch the video...

 

Stuff: Covid-19 predicted to make child poverty worse: Should NZ’s next government make temporary safety nets permanent?

OPINION: Despite the 2017 Labour-led government taking power with a mandate to fight Aotearoa New Zealand’s abysmally high child poverty rate, only incremental progress has been made.

The percentage of children living in poor households dropped only slightly, from 16.5 per cent in June 2018 to 14.9 per cent by June 2019.

That equates to approximately one in seven children (168,500) living in poverty, according to one official measure used in New Zealand and internationally: households with incomes less than 50 per cent of the median disposable household income before housing costs (BHC).

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Stuff: A long way to go before gender is truly on the agenda

OPINION: It’s my daughter’s birthday on election day. Regardless of how the votes fall, we can expect a female prime minister. As a mother of a daughter, I feel fortunate we live in a country where her career choices aren’t necessarily limited by her gender.

New Zealand was the first self-governing country in the world to give all adult women the right to vote. We have had, and continue to have, female prime ministers and governors-general. Our current prime minister made headlines for taking her baby to the UN General Assembly. Internationally, we are lauded for our work in the area of gender equity. And rightly so; we have achieved a lot.

But there is still a way to go.

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NZ Herald: Suicide, family crisis, isolation: Asians' mental health on the decline, says advocacy group

From suicides to family crises, anxiety to isolation, the mental health of Asian New Zealanders is deteriorating and Covid is making it worse, says an advocacy group calling for a targeted mental health strategy for the country's diverse Asian communities.

For years, the family of an elderly woman witnessed her slow decline. It got to the point where she was setting furniture on fire to ward off evil spirits, and wandering out half-dressed in the middle of the night battling the same ghosts.

Only then did the family reach out to health services, where she was promptly diagnosed with psychotic illness and treated.

They did not seek help earlier because in their culture, it was frowned upon to think that something was wrong with your parent. The right thing to do was to accept her for what she was, and endure the challenges that came with it.

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Newshub: COVID-19 disrupting 'critical' mental health services worldwide - World Health Organization

A new survey has shown how COVID-19 devastated mental health services across the world - and New Zealand is no exception.

Research from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows the pandemic has disrupted or halted "critical" mental health services across 130 countries, highlighting an "urgent need to increase investment in the chronically underfunded sector". 

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Newshub: Perverts collecting upskirting and hidden camera pictures on the rise in New Zealand

Revenge porn, upskirting and hidden camera crime may sound like something out of a TV show, but experts are warning it is growing in New Zealand. 

Newshub was told of one woman who was at a market with her children when she noticed a man filming up her skirt so she confronted him. She said the man barely reacted and instead walked off unflustered. 

The victim was devastated she had been targeted but grew frustrated at herself, believing her clothing may have encouraged the offender. 

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Stuff: 'Saving souls, not lives': Teen patients say they were retraumatised at faith-based mental health clinic

She thought she’d found a place to be loved, to be valued, and to recover from a childhood dotted with mental illness, and then sexual abuse. Instead, Gabrielle Cole found herself living in a facility where staff told her that she was a sinner and her soul was “tied” to that of her abuser.

Living at A Girl Called Hope was traumatic for her, and for other young women who are speaking out as part of a Stuff investigation into the facility. The centre’s management say the allegations being made against them are hard to believe and that their first priority is to care for those in need.

The organisation has strong connections to an international evangelical movement, Mercy Ministries, accused in Australia of widespread abuse against young women. The centre has operated in New Zealand since 2008, with the endorsement and funding of Life Church – which is now trying to distance itself from the programme.

On paper, it seems great. With promises of “love”, acceptance, and free wraparound mental healthcare, the young women who signed up to A Girl Called Hope say it seemed an offer too good to ignore – but many now desperately wish they had.

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Stuff: Composer Jack Body 'groomed', assaulted young men he taught, former students say

celebrated composer groped a student in an assessment meeting and groomed other young men he taught for sex, former students allege.

Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington​ said it would “temporarily” remove all mention of the Jack Body​ Memorial Fund, which was raising funds for the School of Music’s composer residency, from its website “in recognition of the serious nature of these allegations”. The university will be investigating further.

Body, who died aged 70 in 2015, taught composition at VUW’s New Zealand School of Music from 1980 until his retirement in 2012​. A week before his death he was awarded Arts Icon status – an honour restricted to 20 living artists at any one time.

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Newshub: Stan Walker talks 'brutal' family abuse detailed in new book Impossible - and how his whānau bounced back

Warning: This article discusses family violence. 

Stan Walker has opened up about his new book Impossible: My Story, which details the "brutal" abuse he suffered as a child and how he and his whānau were able to make amends and move forward together. 

"I feel like my family is the impossible made possible," Walker told the hosts of The Project NZ about the title of the book. 

"If my family can get through what we've got through as a whānau, then I think anybody can." 

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RNZ: UN report finds sexual exploitation of children a concern in Fiji

A United Nations report has revealed that commercial sexual exploitation of children continues to occur in Fiji.

The UN Pacific Socio-Economic Impact Assessment of Covid-19 in Fiji Report was presented to the government before its announcement of the 2020-2021 National Budget in July.

The report, released publicly this week, found incidents of abuse were "usually performed by family members, foreign tourists, taxidrivers, businesspeople and crew on foreign fishing vessels."

The report said the most common forms of child sexual exploitation are prostitution, pornography and sex trafficking.

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Stuff: Permanent resident to be deported after beating wife and stepchildren for years

A Tongan citizen and permanent resident of New Zealand will be deported after repeatedly assaulting his wife and stepchildren and lying about it to authorities.

The man was granted residency in 2011 due to his 2009 marriage to a fellow resident, but the abuse began before he stepped foot in the country.

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Category: News Media