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Weekly Media Roundup

November 24, 2023 at 2:59 PM

Newsroom:  How discredited ‘parental alienation syndrome’ is being used to cover up abuse

Thousands of children in New Zealand will go to bed tonight in the court-ordered care of violent fathers because a judge accepted a diagnosis of a non-existent disorder

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Te Ao Māori News: Harrowing testimonies from rangatahi show schools struggling to deal with sexual violence

TRIGGER WARNING: This article references issues of sexual violence and abuse.

A report by social impact organisation Let’s Talk Consent has revealed how schools are struggling to provide a safe environment for students who have been sexually abused.

The report, Youth experiences of sexual violence in Aotearoa New Zealand, includes testimonies from 300 youth, with 288 describing horrifying experiences of sexual violence, including rape, assault and harassment.

“For some, this was almost daily harassment normalised within their school’s culture. For others, it was brutal, forceful, and left them injured, anxious, in pain and too afraid to speak about. Some students described pack rape by groups of young men without any consequences faced,” the report says.

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The Spinoff: What are cultural sentencing reports and why does National want to scrap them?

While section 27 pre-sentencing reports are used by all ethnicities, Māori will be hurt most by National’s plan to defund them, say report writers Tara Oakley and Rebecca Cupples.

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RNZ: New online technologies putting Kiwi kids at risk of sexual abuse

New Zealand's law enforcement agencies say the internet is increasingly putting children at risk of of online sexual exploitation.

New Zealand Customs Service, New Zealand Police and the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) work in partnership to identify child victims and target offenders involved in the online sexual abuse of children, in New Zealand and across the world.

The agencies are marking World Children's Day, by raising the alarm on children's rights and welfare.

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RNZ: State must work with primary caregivers on safety plan for at-risk children – coroner

A coroner's report into the death of a toddler shows government agencies were explicitly warned the boy's killer was violent and a risk to children.

A recommendation is a change to improve safety plans for at-risk children.

This is the sole recommendation from Coroner Marcus Elliott who has been looking into what the state could have done better to protect a toddler killed in Southland eight years ago, by four agencies that have admitted failing him.

The child's mother's boyfriend, who had a long history of violence, fatally injured the boy in Southland and was later found dead in custody.

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Stuff: Name suppression leaves dead toddler 'faceless and nameless' – whānau

Whānau of a toddler killed in Southland say heavy court suppressions have left the boy "invisible".

"As a result of these suppression orders our nephew is invisible, and everyone involved is hidden - we'd say protected by name suppression - and our family do not agree with it," one aunt said.

Eight years of reviews and coronial hearings have shown state officials failed the boy, but neither they nor any of the family involved in the case can be identified in any way after a coroner's findings were finalised last week. The High Court ordered the suppressions and these have been made permanent.

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Stuff: 'I want the truth': Police investigate after baby 'suffocated in collapsed portacot'

Police are investigating the death of a baby who suffered a non-accidental injury in the days before she apparently suffocated in a collapsed portacot while sick with pneumonia.

Kween Thompson, whose birth has not been officially registered, died at a property in Dargaville, Northland, on July 13.

According to her mother, the 10-month-old girl suffocated after her then 22-month-old sibling caused the portacot she was sleeping in to collapse.

An autopsy confirmed the baby had died from asphyxia. But it also revealed she’d suffered an unrelated non-accidental injury up to eight days prior, had unexplained bruises on her face and pneumonia.

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NZ Herald: Christchurch man pleads guilty to significant child abuse, burns boy’s foot with cigarette lighter

WARNING: This article discusses child abuse and may be distressing.

A social worker talking to two adults arriving for a whānau hui noticed one of the young children with them had bruises all over his face, an open gash on his forehead and burn marks on his arm and leg.

The severely emaciated 4-year-old, who was so unwell he was unable to walk or speak, was rushed to hospital where doctors discovered a list of injuries that were so long they take up more than an entire page in a Crown summary of facts.

It’s the kind of abuse Child Matters CEO Jane Searle said “isn’t surprising at all”, stating the significant abuse New Zealand children are subjected to is far too common and often goes unnoticed.

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Category: News Media