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Weekly Media Roundup

September 03, 2021 at 3:18 PM

Stuff: Covid-19: A list of places and sites to help you navigate lockdown

The following information aims to offer a guide to the support agencies, tools and websites to enable you to find the help you need for you and your family during the lockdown.

It’s a stressful time for many. Whether you need a food parcel or help with navigating home-learning or are seeking any other form of support for you or your family, all the information and help you need right now is listed below.

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Stuff: Children's charity launches week to promote safety and wellbeing

A children's charity is launching a week dedicated to the protection of New Zealand’s tamariki.

Safeguarding Children has planned Child Protection Week from September 5-11 to coincide with its 10th birthday.

The week’s purpose is to raise awareness of the part organisations and adults play in protecting children and young people from abuse and neglect.

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Stuff: Nearly 30 children have died in state care in New Zealand since 2017

WARNING: This article references suicide.

Nearly 30 children have died in state care since Oranga Tamariki's inception and an expert says the organisation has failed to deliver on its promises.

Of the 27 children who have died since April 2017, five died by suicide, 15 from natural causes, five from accidents, and two as a result of child abuse, homicide or manslaughter.

University of Otago associate social work professor Nicola Atwool told the Herald the numbers reflect how the care system is struggling.

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Stuff: Woman appears in court facing murder charge over child's death

Her lawyer, Fraser Wood, was not able to speak to her before the appearance and had not been given a summary of facts detailing what allegedly happened, he said.

He acknowledged the “very serious” charge.

The woman will next appear in the High Court in Rotorua in September.

Judge Greg Hollister-Jones ordered mental health screening to be completed before that appearance.

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Stuff: Covid-19: The devastating effect of lockdown on victims of family violence 

From early morning calls for help from people hiding in laundries desperately trying to concoct lies about who they are talking with, to those terrified by seeing an ex-partner repeatedly driving past their home – the devastation family violence has on its victims can be exacerbated by lockdown.

And Canterbury-based family and sexual violence agency Aviva says the impact of even a short lockdown can be crippling.

The agency saw an increase in family violence rates during and after last year's nationwide lockdown, and warns the same is likely this year.

Increased isolation and pressure during the enforced confinement could amplify violence, the organisation said, as frustrations boil over as regular schedules go out the window.

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Stuff: Thousands of strangulation charges laid since law change

More than 3500 charges of strangulation have been laid by police since a law change almost three years ago made it a distinct offence.

Strangulation and suffocation are common features of domestic violence and the Crimes Act charge of strangulation, introduced in December 2018, carries a maximum penalty of seven years’ jail.

Male assaults female, under which strangulation or suffocation were often previously classified, can result in a prison sentence of up to two years.

New data released to Stuff by police shows that since the law change, there have been 3682 “strangulation proceedings resulting in court action”.

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Stuff: Domestic abuser risked woman's life when he strangled her

A man’s manipulative and violent treatment of his partner was uncovered when one of her friends called the police. Jimmy Ellingham reports on a serious case of domestic abuse.

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Stuff: Lockdown brings more delays for Lake Alice survivors

Alert level 4 restrictions have delayed the completion of the police investigation into allegations of torture at a notorious psychiatric unit.

Police had written to survivors of the Lake Alice child and adolescent unit saying they would organise a series of meetings to tell them about their findings in early July.

That date was pushed back to late-August and after Stuff inquiries this week police have confirmed the meetings will happen in September, but a police spokeswoman said that “is dependent on alert-level restrictions”.

“Due to the current alert level 4 restrictions the investigation has been delayed.”

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NZ Herald: Men's sexual violence charity workers shocked after being told to shut down

Men's sexual violence charity Mosaic will be closing its doors.

Counsellor Justin Meade said staff had been told by the Mosaic board that they had decided to shut the organisation down.

"Effective from the 17th of September 2021, Mosaic will no longer exist."

Wellington peer service manager and counsellor Rob McGregor told the Herald he was "past angry" and felt "disappointed and betrayed".

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Newshub: How Wellington's growing reputation for violence has made bar workers the new frontline against alcohol abuse 'epidemic'

A Wellington City Council committee meets virtually this week to consider things like more security cameras, a sexual violence prevention plan and getting rid of problematic public toilets in the CBD. 

The capital's growing reputation for violence after dark has made the city's bars the new frontline, and it's anyone's guess if the proposals considered by the Wellington City Council committee will make a difference. 

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Stuff: Covid-19: Absence of free school lunches in lockdown a gap that needs filling, NGO says

With schools closed and the free lunch programme suspended during Covid-19 lockdown, thousands of families are doing it tough, relying on social service providers to put food on the table. But some think this is a gap that should be filled by the Government.

The lunch programme, run by the Ministry of Education, was earmarked to feed 215,000 kids across 963 schools by the year’s end. But the disruption from lockdown has seen many families reach out to social service organisations for help.

In the week ending August 28, the number of food parcels distributed by The Salvation Army nationally increased by 84 per cent on the week prior.

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1 News: Two people who flew out of Auckland without exemptions slapped with police notices

Meanwhile, police are urging anyone experiencing abuse or violence to seek support as the country enters its third week of alert level restrictions.

Coster said preliminary data shows the number of reported family harm incidents increased by 3.9 per cent in the first week of Alert Level 4 and 6.2 per cent in the second week.

He said while there has been a small increase, family harm reports fluctuate due to a range of external factors and the data remains within the normal range.

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RNZ: Owners reunited with dogs after escaping abusive situations

Two dogs that were among the first to go to a new refuge for animals affected by domestic violence, have been reunited with their owners.

The pair spent a week at Pet Refuge in Auckland, while their owners were escaping abusive situations.

The purpose-built Pet Refuge was opened earlier this month and is able take up to 75 animals at a time, keeping them safe until they can be reunited with owners.

It's programme manager Nikki Marchant-Ludlow said the reunion happened before lockdown and was hugely emotional.

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Stuff: Covid 19 coronavirus Delta outbreak: Family violence survivors urged to get pets to shelter in lockdown

A new shelter dedicated to helping pets and their owners affected by family violence is urging survivors to use the service during lockdown.

Pet Refuge is an essential service and is continuing to take in animals across Auckland during alert level 4 Covid-19 restrictions.

"We know a lockdown can make victims feel trapped, but please reach out for help with your pets when you can do so safely," said founder Julie Chapman.

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Newsroom: Feeling belittled and marginalised in the Family Court

Following revelations about the in-court behaviour of a Napier judge, five women tell Newsroom of their traumatic experiences before the Family Court.

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Stuff: From domestic violence to pageant finalist: Chelsea Heard wants to inspire others with similar experiences

Lying in hospital with a broken collarbone, Chelsea Heard decided to leave her violent partner.

She hasn’t looked back – just over a year-and-a-half later she’s a beauty pageant finalist, small business owner, and is planning a wedding.

“I want to show people that ... they don’t have to cower back and hide away from the world,” the 27-year-old said.

“Don’t let mental health, domestic violence define what you are. Use it to drive your passion.”

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Stuff: Plunket takes on its history, and future, to be 'a better Treaty partner'

Last year, Whānau Awhina Plunket set out on a mission to distance itself from its founder, Sir Truby King, widely regarded as a white supremacist. But some say the reimagining won’t work. CATE BROUGHTON investigates.

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Stuff: Man jailed indefinitely to protect young girls from his sexual offending

A man who won the trust of a girl and her family to create opportunities to sexually abuse her may stay in jail forever if he does not get treatment.

“That can and does happen to people like you,” Justice Francis Cooke, QC​, told the 49-year-old man in the High Court at Wellington on Wednesday.

The man, who has name suppression, was sentenced to preventive detention, an open-ended sentence with people unable to get released unless they prove they are not an undue risk.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to five charges relating to sexual offending against the same girl during a two-year period starting in 2018.

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Category: News Media