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Weekly Media Roundup

January 26, 2017 at 5:17 PM

NZ leads marches for women's rights

Women's marches in response to Donald Trump's inauguration as US president have started with rallies in New Zealand.

Around the world, more than 1 million people are expected to attend marches to demonstrate against sexism and sexual violence and call for women's rights.

At least 2000 people turned out to the march in Auckland this morning - a bigger turnout than organisers had anticipated.

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US abortion gag endangers Pacific women

Unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions and maternal deaths in the Pacific could be about to rise after new US President Donald Trump re-enacted the Mexico City policy.

The policy gags aid organisations funded by the US from promoting abortion and will result in restricting the distribution of contraception.

International family planning organisation Marie Stopes said much of its work in the Pacific is funded by New Zealand and Australia, although it stood to lose $30 million a year from the US.

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'Global gag rule' reinstated by Trump, curbing NGO abortion services abroad

In one of a number of sharp reversals from the Obama era, Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order banning international NGOs from providing abortion services or offering information about abortions if they receive US funding.

The rule will put thousands of international healthcare workers in the difficult position of deciding whether to continue to offer family planning care that includes abortion at the expense of a critical funding stream. Many international health advocates insist that their efforts are not comprehensive without abortion services. Unsafe abortions are a major cause of maternal mortality and kill tens of thousands of women every year.

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Yasir Mohib jailed for 12 months for hammer attack on wife, after discharge without conviction overturned

An Auckland man who previously escaped a conviction for beating his wife with a hammer has now been handed a jail term.

Yasir Mohib pleaded guilty to three violence charges - common assault, assault with a weapon and threatening behaviour - and was discharged without conviction by Judge Philippa Cunningham.

She ruled the consequences of convictions were out of proportion to the gravity of the offending, in particular the possibility Mohib, who has three New Zealand-born children, might be deported to Pakistan, despite the legal principle that a sentencing judge should not usurp the role of immigration authorities.

The controversial decision was later overturned by the High Court and labelled "plainly wrong" by Justice Edwin Wylie, who said the district court judge failed to correctly identify the seriousness of the attack

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Support programme for high-risk families moves into Auckland's North Shore

An intensive support programme for high-risk families with young children will come to the North Shore for the first time.

Family Start, a Ministry of Social Development programme, was for parents dealing with issues such as mental health; drinking, drugs and gambling; abuse as a child or family violence. It was for families with young children, with referrals made for kids from pre-birth to two years.

This year, the Anglican Trust for Women and Children was given a new contract to expand its delivery of Family Start into the North Shore.

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Couple's 20-year relationship ends in alcohol-fuelled assault

Standing just metres away from the man she once loved, a domestic violence victim told her abuser how much he had hurt her.

Once together for 20 years, Corey William Putaranui's former partner spoke of how she and her family had suffered as a result of the alcohol-fuelled assault he meted out to her in 2016.

She has post-traumatic stress disorder from the attack, which left her with a split lip, a lump to her cheek and marks over her arms and legs.

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Social media apps pose new problems for protection orders

An increase in protection order breaches on social media is proving a challenge for family violence agencies, police and courts.

One case currently before the courts involves a Dunedin man charged with breaching a protection order, after allegedly "super-liking" his former partner on Tinder and importing her number into his Snapchat contacts.

His lawyer told RNZ he pleaded not guilty on the grounds both actions were accidental. The case will go to trial.

The case has prompted the question of how well the legal system understands rapidly-developing technologies.

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Man charged with attempted murder after allegedly trying to drive car into Lake Dunstan — with passenger still inside

A man has been charged with attempted murder after trying to drive a vehicle into a lake - with a passenger still inside.

Police said a 20-year-old German man will appear in the Queenstown Court next week following the incident on Sunday evening.

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Protection order complaint takes two years to investigate

Police have taken two years to investigate and uphold a Northland woman's complaint that a senior constable had failed to take seriously protection order breaches she reported.

Ulanda Titford laid the complaint in January 2015. It was resolved earlier this month.

Her ex-partner Gene Hanham was jailed in May 2015, for two years and four months, for three protection order breaches and assault with intent to rape.

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Mental health support vital for very young, warns expert

When Sarah Maindonald began working as a counsellor 24 years ago, she saw teenagers struggling with mental health issues, but barely ever a child.

Now, working across Christchurch primary schools as a counsellor, she regularly sees children aged 9 or younger dealing with anxiety or depression.

Many issues were earthquake-related, as children dealt with their own experiences, instability and stress within the family.

But other problems were sparked by changes within the family, or changes to society.

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Calls to stop teens on remand from being placed in jails

Legal experts are calling on the government to remove legislation that allows Child, Youth and Family to place young offenders into police custody once they've appeared before a court.

Yesterday RNZ revealed the number of nights youth offenders spent in police cells had nearly tripled in a single year, with 151 nights spent in police custody in 2015-16 - up from 51 in 2014-15.

Young people aged between 14 and 16 can be remanded in police custody if Child, Youth and Family cannot provide a bed for them at a youth justice residence. It is meant to be a last resort option.

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Russian MPs back bill reducing punishment for domestic violence

Russian MPs have backed a controversial bill reducing the punishment for some forms of domestic violence in a crucial second reading, despite protests from rights groups.

The amendments reduce the penalty for violence against family members, including spouses and children, as long as it is a first offence and does not cause serious injury, making it punishable by a fine of up to 30,000 rubles (£400).

Violence against a family member that does not cause serious physical injury is currently defined as battery and punishable by up to two years in jail.

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Solomon Islands no longer safe for children - report

A study carried out by the Solomon Islands Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs claims the country is no longer a safe place for children.

The Ministry's Permanent Secretary Ethel Sigimanu said the report for the period from 2008 to the present was worrying because it indicated that child abuse in Solomon Islands was high.

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Are struggling families on govt's 2017 to-do list?

Will investing in families, especially the least advantaged, be a priority under an English-led government this election year? Kathryn Ryan talks to Jonathan Boston, a Professor of Public Policy at Wellington's Victoria University, about what the policy could look like.

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Housing in many NZ cities 'severely unaffordable'

Auckland has held onto its spot as one of the most expensive cities in the world to buy a house, and another New Zealand city is quickly rising through the ranks to join it.

The annual Demographia survey, which compares prices to income in 404 cities, has ranked Auckland's housing market the fourth least affordable in the world, the same as last year, with prices at 10 times the median income.

That's slightly higher than the 9.7 recorded last year, as rampant house price growth outpaced wages.

Only Hong Kong, Sydney and Vancouver were more expensive.

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PNG tribes make progress to end violence against women

The Family Sexual Violence Action Committee in Papua New Guinea says progress is being made to stop violence against women in tribal areas.

The committee's national programme co-ordinator, Ume Wainetti, said the male chiefs of some Mekeo tribes had ended customary practices that once punished women.

Ms Wainetti said beating and imprisoning widows perceived as bad wives, has ended in some areas.

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Category: News Media