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2021

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Weekly Media Roundup

March 05, 2021 at 1:49 PM

1 News: Family violence charities brace for increase in victims needing help over Level 3 lockdown

As Auckland settles into its fourth stretch in an Alert Level 3 lockdown, family violence charities are bracing for an increase in need.

Police data shows there was a notable increase in family harm incidents during the various lockdowns last year, when compared to the same periods in the year before.

The most significant was during March 26 and April 27, when the country was in a hard lockdown at Level 4.

The average number of daily family harm incidents rocketed from 375 in 2019 to 506 for the same period in 2020.

Over the whole year, police were called to around 414 family harm incidents each day on average in 2019, compared to 450 in 2020.

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Stuff: Left in limbo: Police backlog of sexual assault cases continues to worsen

Police are struggling under the weight of increased reports of rape, with 200 sexual assault cases each month waiting to be assigned to an investigator.

New recruits – and older officers pulled out of retirement to help – have failed to make a dent in the backlog, which has grown worse since 2018, despite promises to do better.

The Government had pledged to add up to 180 specialist staff to sexual assault teams by 2020, a target it has now pushed to 2023.

Data obtained by Stuff shows while 80 new officers were trained as specialist adult or child sexual assault investigators since 2018, more than one in three sexual assault files are still held by non-specialist staff, because trained experts aren’t available.

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Stuff: Child sexual abuse victims retraumatised in their fight for justice

Thousands of New Zealanders were sexually abused as children in state care and faith-based institutions, but will never get the justice they need to move forward. MARINÉ LOURENS reports.

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NZ Herald: Abuse in Care Inquiry investigation finds previously unknown patients

The Abuse in Care Inquiry believes there may be more than 100 unknown people who spent time at the Lake Alice Psychiatric Hospital's child and adolescent unit.

It was revealed last year the number of people abused in care since 1950 was up to 253,000, with the number of people passing through care being six times more than previously thought.

The Lake Alice child and adolescent unit operated from 1972 to 1978. It is known abuses – including sexual, physical and psychological - happened at the Manawatu-based unit and the Inquiry is concerned there are people it does not know about.

An Inquiry investigation into the unit indicates a far higher number of patients were admitted than previously thought. At redress hearings last year, the Health Ministry told the Inquiry's Commissioners it had not been able to make a complete list of patients.

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RNZ: 'My experiences make me good at what I do now' - former boys' home resident

A man who first ended up in the Stanmore Boys' Home in Christchurch at the age of 8 after smashing every window in his mother's house says his time in the home, which was run by the then Department of Social Welfare, was terrifying at first, but soon became a very positive experience.

Stewart Best, who is 52 grew up in the suburb of Hoon Hay in Christchurch with his mother who had five children from two different men.

Best was the oldest boy and says he was the natural candidate to be the victim of beatings from his mother.

He said physical and sexual abuse runs right through his family history.

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RNZ: Death of toddler in washing machine unexplained - police

Police are treating the death of a toddler found unresponsive in her family's washing machine in Christchurch as unexplained.

They were called to the girl's home on Friday night.

A minute released by deputy chief coroner Anna Tutton said the girl was at home with her father and siblings when the father realised he hadn't seen her for about 10 minutes.

He searched for her girl and found her in the washing machine.

Attempts were made to resuscitate the girl but she died in hospital the following day.

A post mortem has been conducted and the coroner has started an inquiry.

The coroner's minute said the police investigation was in its early stages and would work to determine if the death was suspicious or accidental.

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1 News: Scathing police bullying report finds 'boys' club' theme 'perpetuated by allegiances, cliques, nepotism'

A quarter of New Zealand's police force have been abused, bullied or harassed in the last year, with almost one in 10 suffering sustained bullying, a report has found. 

Themes of favouritism, a 'boys' club', sexism and marginalisation was found during the survey. 

The Independent Police Conduct Authority report was spurred by allegations of bullying within the police force in 2019. There was about 400 hours of confidential interviews with more than 200 current and former police staff.

Forty per cent of respondents had personally experienced, not just observed, poor behaviour towards them over the last year. 

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NZ Herald: She Is Not Your Rehab: Young advocate Angelou Brown receives letter from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

Angelou Brown, the youngest domestic violence advocate in New Zealand, son of the founder of She Is Not Your Rehab, has received a touching letter from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, thanking him for his work in the fight against domestic violence.

The 5-year-old boy sent Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford T-shirts for Christmas, and the Prime Minister has now replied with a letter thanking him for the special package.

In the letter, which Angelou's father Matt Brown posted on Instagram, Ardern thanks the boy for the T-shirts and proceeds to tell him how impressed she is with his work.

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Stuff: When and how to talk to young kids about sex

Even in 2021, the thought of talking to kids about sex can trigger that burning red feeling taking over a parent’s face.

But gone are the days when Mum or Dad sat an early-teenage kid down for a rushed, one-off conversation about the birds and the bees. Or you just left them to endure awkward sex-education classes at school where the greatest takeaway was how to put a condom on a banana.

Gone are the days when Mum or Dad sat an early-teenage kid down for a rushed, one-off conversation about the birds and the bees.

Instead, experts say it is best to lay the groundwork for a healthy sex life that includes respectful relationships as soon as children can communicate. Parents should also be prepared for ongoing, age-appropriate conversations as a child matures.

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Stuff: Kids left vulnerable by young fathers in jail, Crown prosecutor says

In an Invercargill courthouse hallway Crown prosecutor Mary-Jane Thomas took a young man aside and to put it bluntly gave him a bollocking.

Thomas, who has worked in law for more than 30 years, says it’s not the first time she’s pulled some aside to speak to them.

Underneath the stern words to sort his life out, was an underlying message of safety. Safety for young children left vulnerable when their fathers are jailed.

Young men were not taking responsibility for children left behind, she said.

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Stuff: Thirty years on and women are still being told we're asking for it

OPINION: Her face was a rictus of disgust.

Looming above me, hands on hips, her narrowed eyes flicked over my body. Taking in my sun hat, shorts and singlet, she sucked her lip and shook her head in revulsion at what she saw.

“How are the boys supposed to concentrate when you’re dressed like that?”

The first time I was clothes-shamed I was 12 years old.

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Stuff: Evie Kemp leads amazing garage makeover at women's refuge

Designer Evie Kemp recently helped complete an interior makeover with a difference – she was contacted by the charity Woven Earth and asked to help transform a very plain double garage at the Te Whānau Rangimarie women’s refuge safe house in Auckland.

The garage is used as a playroom-second living area at the house, which can accommodate up to 19 women and children who have escaped domestic violence. But it was in desperate need of a little love and attention.

Kemp put out a call on Instagram and says she was overwhelmed at the amount of support the group received from the community: “More than 70 individuals and businesses came together to support this project, either financially or with items and products.”

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Category: News Media