Wednesday, August 08, 2007

when will they discuss the real factors on child abuse?

Here are the facts on child abuse.

Nearly all child abuse deaths are at the hands of a male parent or Maori mum, and that former parent is not usually married to the child's other parent - nor is he often the father of the child. The fact that abused children's parents are unmarried and that people are shacking up with their boyfriends is a bigger child abuse issue than ethnicity or poverty - although those who shack up with their boyfriends who abuse kids are more likely to be Maori and on benefits - or at least poor which makes it a Maori concern.

Other relevant facts: The fact that Maori don't often have mum and dad to parent kids is relevant - we have whanau who pass kids around like a joint, and this is encouraged by government policy treating any bunch of people as a family group. The fact that all these kids that get murdered has a mum or a dad that should be paying child support but are often not - and if they are they are not paying the required amount. The fact that people aren't spending the WFF money on their kids, they `re paying off fines and bills.

Some people should just have some balls and say that people's living arrangements have a great deal to do with how many kids are being killed, and that Govt policy is encouraging these types of living arrangements and child abuse agencies are too scared to speak out and say that because they are scared they will lose govt funding. It is comparatively rare for kids who are living with both their mum and dad who are married to each other to be abused. Also, most Maori kids do not live with both their mum and dad who are married to each other. Many are living with either a sole parent or at least one parent who didn't conceive them. These are the kids at risk and the stats will indicate that.

Only if we take the above into consideration will we have the honest debate some are seeking.

Rant over.


peasant said...

This case goes to show that "it takes a village to raise a child" is a contemptible lie.

Anonymous said...

This post goes to show that the author can be presumed to be particularly brain-dead.

Dave said...

brain-dead.Oh yeah, how? Do tell...

Anonymous said...

hey anonymous - the brain-dead one.

You can't argue against facts.

Anita said...

"Nearly all child abuse deaths are at the hands of a male parent or Maori mum, ... "

Really? Do you have the stats for this?

I'm struggling more with the "Maori mum" bit, as I really can't think of that many mother cases, particularly when compared to the "wider extended family" group which seems to do quite a lot more damage. Tho perhaps the list in my head is incomplete.

Also, I'm not sure whether you're better looking at race (Maori) or socio economic group. Coral Burrows fits better if you're looking at poverty rather than skin colour.

That said your stats might show that race is a better indicator - which set of stats are you using?

How about: the hands of a father (or step father) or member of the extended family (male or female). Child abuse deaths appear more common in poorer families.

Anonymous said...

socioeconomic factors are more relevant than ethnic or race factors - but it appears that of all those children who are killed at the hands of caregivers, most kids are maori, most are poor and many of their caregivers get income from WINZ.

Although in the Nia Glassie death her mother did work full time - but apparently the 17 year old stepfather didnt - you can bet the futneral costs were subsidised by WINZ

Murray said...

Dave drop me a line with you, I can't find your email address.

lurgee said...

I think you are looking through the wrong end of the telescope - the factors you mention here - family break-up, step-parents and the stuff you don't mention, like alcoholism, drug abuse, and so on, are SYMPTOMS of a deeper problem.

Though you pretty much swat it aside, poverty is the root of this problem. Maori are over-represented at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid as they are over represented in the figures for violence against children. Only someone blinded by ideology would refuse to see the link. And don't tell me about how the Kahui family had a huge income from benefits, because they were, ever-the-less, the products of their environment - impoverished, degraded and so stunted that they couldn't see any other life than getting wrecked. That's the mind set of poverty and alienation.

Factor income into the figures and the discrepency between Maori and non-Maori rates will all but disappear. Child killings hit a high in the 90s, when 1 in 4 Maori was unemployed. The figures are better now, for Maori and non-Maori, but still dismal.

Dave said...

Poverty is not the root of the problem, its a factor. Perhaps how Maori deal with poverty may be more of a factor, given that you say that for periods when Maori unemployment are high, there are more child abuse deaths. Although I do note that poor Maori who are married and living with their children they conceived don't abuse or kill them. Factor out unmarried Maori and you`ll get a better child abuse result than if you factor our poverty. The Kahui's, for example, were not living in poverty.

lurgee said...

You mentioned the Kahuis just to tease me, didn't you, since I'd already brought them up in my earlier comment. THey might have had a lot of money floating around therough benefits, but they were very much the product of poverty and degradation. Simply throwing money at a problem won't solve it, it just means money will get frittered away by feckless idiots.

perhaps this is an area we can find some common ground on?)

Do you have any data to back up your claim that violence against children correlates more closely to marital status than to socio-economic status? I know phrases like 'step father kills ...' or 'battered by mother's boyfriend ...' recur in these terrible cases. I'd certainly agree that abuse seems to occur more freuently in families where there is a step-parent, and it has unpleasant echoes of the behaviour of animals where the children of a deposed male are killed by the new male, but I still think this is a symptom of other, deeper issues, rather than the root cause itself.

After all, Christine Rankin has worked her way through three husbands and I assume none of her children have been abused. Michael Laws has spawned with a couple of differnet women and has step children, I believe, but no-one would call him an abuser. Lots of other uncomplimentary things, but not an abuser.