Sunday, July 30, 2006

Exposing the Real Culprit

As the country struggles to come to terms with the extent of New Zealand’s child abuse problem and what can be done about it, the real culprits have remained hidden.

The worst child abusers in the country are the government. Successive governments have put in place social policies that have created the very conditions in which child abuse flourishes: whole communities in which the two-parent family has vanished, where work is rare or non-existent, and where multiple generations have grown up relying on welfare.

Just this week, South Auckland social service agencies working at the coalface of the child abuse crisis spoke openly of benefit money being spent on alcohol and drugs instead of food and clothing for children; of parents deciding to separate to get more welfare; of the system discouraging fathers from taking responsibility for their children; of young mothers having to lock their bedroom doors at night to keep themselves and their babies safe - from their brothers who are their baby’s fathers – but who are afraid to report serious illegal activities in the home for fear the police will involve CYFs and their babies will be taken off them…

(This was written by former ACT MP Muriel Newman - full article is here - go and read it now)

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