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Weekly Media Roundup

October 30, 2020 at 1:16 PM

NZ Herald: Strangled: A tale of two women, domestic violence, terror and survival

Strangling your partner or impeding their breathing became a criminal offence in December 2018.

Today a Christchurch woman shares her story of being choked - almost to death - by the man she loved.

And another speaks about her fight for safety and her journey through the justice system.

New Zealand has the worst rate of domestic violence in the developed world and the specific charge of strangulation was introduced as part of the Family Violence Amendment Act, which replaced the Domestic Violence Act.

New figures provided to the Herald show that since the offence was introduced, 2533 people have been charged with strangling their partner.

Of those, 2448 were men.



1 News: Payouts of $5000 for those abused in state care labelled 'abysmal' by one lawyer

Pay outs of $5000 for those abused in state care have been labelled “abysmal” by one lawyer.

The amount for those who had been subjected to strip searches, assaults and the denial of food and clothes while in state care emerged at the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.

Just how the Crown is dealing with more than 4000 claims is under scrutiny with the Commission questioning the low level pay outs.

Abuse survivor lawyer Sonya Cooper says compensation has been kept artificially low by a fast-track process.



RNZ: UK migrant appeals for exemption: 'NZ social workers are stretched'

A British social worker says overseas staff are desperately needed here and they should be allowed a border exemption.

Sarah Griffin, her husband and two children are among those rejected after applying to travel to New Zealand.

She said New Zealand was crying out for social workers, especially to address domestic violence and with initiatives such as eliminating rheumatic fever. Social work experts were the people going into homes and making referrals to health authorities.

"You've got to look at Covid where we've had more poverty, more domestic abuse, all these things, social work is even more important," she said. "Social workers in New Zealand are so stretched, so the children and families are just not getting what they need."



Gisborne Herald: Gisborne launch pad for family harm pilot

Working together to achieve enduring positive outcomes for tamariki, rangatahi and whanau is the goal of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Maori Women's Welfare league and NZ Police.

MWWL national president Prue Kapua came to Gisborne on Friday to launch a family harm pilot programme which is a direct result of the MoU.

She was accompanied by MP Louisa Wall and they were joined by members of the Tairawhiti branch of the MWWL.

The visit to Gisborne was the first of three locations where the MoU is being put in place as a pilot. The others are Counties Manukau and Hastings.



Re: Social media can be a new form of justice for survivors of sexual assault

For many survivors of sexual assault, justice through the courts can be a long and painful process. Public naming and shaming may seem a better path to justice, but many people are unaware of the legal risks of posting.

Read more…


NZ Herald: Wellington music scene allegations: Police warn of 'misinformation' on social media

Police investigating claims of sexual assaults in the Wellington music scene are warning people not to share unverified information on social media.

The warning comes after "people who have absolutely nothing to do with the allegations" were publicly accused of being the offenders.

A team of at least 12 Wellington detectives are investigating claims of sexual assault, drugging and violence after at least 60 people posted on social media about their alleged experiences with a group of men, some musicians.

Police said a small number of people had come forward with complaints about the men.

But now officers are being forced to address the spread of misinformation online.



Stuff: Teen sex ed is a 'failure': Why are teens ditching condoms?

Teens are having more unprotected sex than at any time in the past two decades, with experts pinning the “condom backlash” on patchy sexuality education, access to health services and pornography. Michelle Duff reports.

Read more…


Stuff: Justice advocates challenge lock 'em up mentality

Criminals guilty of some of the country’s worst crimes are being let out of jail in growing numbers.

Corrections Department figures obtained by Stuff under the Official Information Act reveal 37 inmates sentenced to preventive detention – one of the toughest penalties courts can impose – have been freed on parole in the six years to 2019/20.

Ten offenders were let out in 2019/20 alone.

But justice advocates say the figures indicate rehabilitation programmes behind bars are working.



RNZ: Plea for reform: 'Human rights create fair societies'

The Human Rights Commission is calling on the government to stand by its promises to make New Zealand fairer for all people.

It has released a report today featuring 39 issues highlighted by all four Human Rights Commissioners. The report asks the government to commit to implement affordable homes, a living wage, more employment opportunities for disabled people and a national action plan against racism.

"Now it's time for the government to take these commitments seriously and do everything in its power to deliver for everyone," Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt said.



RNZ: Man arrested and charged in relation to baby's death in Ōtara

The investigation into the death of a baby in South Auckland has been upgraded to a homicide.

The five-month-old boy was found dead at a property on Sandbrook Avenue in Ōtara last Thursday.

Police said a 28-year-old man was arrested this morning and charged with Assaults Child.

They say they cannot rule out further charges being laid.



Stuff: Classroom violence the biggest education issue, principals say

Reducing classroom violence must be a priority for the new Government, teachers say.

New Zealand Principals’ Federation (NZPF) says students’ violent behaviour needs to be addressed ahead of all other education issues.

Schools are increasingly resisting attempts to make them enrol children who have been kicked out of other schools for violent behaviour, it was reported in February.

NZPF president Perry Rush said ending student violence towards staff and other students is critical.



Stuff: Malcolm Bell manslaughter: Violence against toddler was 'extreme, indeed brutal'

A mother whose 17-month-old son died after he was swung into a sofa by her partner says when she closes her eyes she sees her boy being killed.

Phillip John Welsh was on Friday sentenced to five years and 11 months in prison after earlier pleading guilty at the High Court in Auckland to the manslaughter of Malcolm Robert Bell.

Welsh must serve at least half his sentence before being eligible for parole.

The dead child's mother Savannah Bell swore at Welsh as he was led from the court room.



Stuff: New Zealand comedy's #MeToo moment: 48 women tell stories of discrimination, bullying and abuse

“You know that moment when you see your dad cry? It was like that.”

It’s the only joke comedian Donna Brookbanks cracks in an hour-long conversation – but on this occasion, the Funny Girls and improv star is not looking for laughs. Nursing a flat white in an Auckland cafe, Brookbanks is describing the moment the comedy industry’s senior men were told the results of a survey detailing harassment, assault and rape of women on the comedy circuit.

“The men were visibly shocked,” Brookbanks admits.



1 News: High Court to look into running of Gloriavale after former member speaks out

The High Court of New Zealand says it will be looking into the running of Gloriavale after a former member raised concerns.

1 NEWS obtained a letter which the High Court wants to be widely distributed to anyone who has lived at or who still lives at Gloriavale.

Part of the letter reads as follows: "A former resident of Gloriavale has asked the High Court of New Zealand to examine the role, conduct and actions of the Overseeing Shepherd, the Shepherds and others in the running of Gloriavale and its assets as trustees.

"The proceedings seek the appointment of new trustees … and nothing else."

It goes on to name the lawyers which can be contacted by former and current residents of Gloriavale. 

The news comes after former members recently said sexual abuse is rife at the controversial Christian community on the West Coast.



Stuff: Rapist offered victim hush money to stop her going to police

A woman says she cleans her skin until it bleeds to try to rid herself of the feeling of being touched by a man who raped her.

She also doubted what happened to her after a jury could not decide if a man was guilty of raping her.

Caleb James Winchcombe​ was sentenced in the Palmerston North District Court on Wednesday to eight years and eight months’ jail for assaulting and raping a woman in his Levin home in September 2018.



Stuff: Man's 'senseless' acts of violence land him behind bars

A man who told police he wasn't a “woman basher” after punching his partner in the face again assaulted her while on bail.

Hayden John Thompson, 25, arrived back to his Blenheim home on May 11 when his partner confronted him about whether he had been drinking.

A police summary of facts said Thompson immediately got angry and punched the woman in the face.



Stuff: A stranger's help turned to abuse against impaired woman, court told

He helped her carry groceries more than 2 kilometres, shook her hand when he left her house and also apologised for the sexual assaults committed in between.

The middle-aged victim had an intellectual disability. She told Gavin Troy Smith, 52, that her mother did not like it when she was taken advantage of, and she had been taken advantage of before.

Smith was already on an extended supervision order that was supposed to monitor his behaviour after his release from a prison sentence for rape.

He contacted his probation officer soon after the May 2018 incident in the Hutt Valley to talk about what he had done. He was asked if she had said “no”. “Kind of,” he replied.


Category: News Media