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Killing Tomorrow - Or Preventing It From Happening

Media Release from Child Abuse Prevention Services in regards to today’s (28 Nov) screening of “Killing Tomorrow”, a program about child abuse in New Zealand, TV3, 8.30 pm

Heather Henare, National Co-ordinator, represents Child Abuse Prevention Services in “Building Tomorrow”, the panel discussion following the program




- Child abuse has killed 65 children in New Zealand, during the last six years

- 188 children was hospitalised for injuries inflicted by others during a period of 12 months

- More than 10,000 children were found to have been physically, sexually or mentally abused last year

Child Abuse Prevention Services NZ spokesperson Heather Henare says: It is time to start looking at the solutions to child abuse and not just discussing the problem. Making children a priority in this country has to be the first step in stopping child abuse. “

The extent of child abuse in NZ is not limited to the atrocious and well-documented cases such as James Whakaruru or Lillybing. Child abuse in New Zealand is a hidden reality that crosses all social, economic, cultural and geographical boundaries.

Child abuse is a significant social problem with implications for the children and families concerned and for all of society. Abused children are often damaged in their ability to function as adults and crucially, as parents.

National Co-ordinator Heather Henare says: Child Abuse Prevention Services NZ would like to see more effort put into effective education through increased support resources for the key child prevention services, thereby enabling those agencies to help parents and caregivers to become safer and stop harming their children.

As a key national agency with child abuse prevention as its core business, Child Abuse Prevention Services safeguards the very existence of the range of specialised child abuse prevention services its member groups offer. Its programme, “Anger Change” (therapeutic intervention to prevent child abuse) has had substantial results.

This programme helps parents to stop their abusive behaviour towards their children and recognise the triggers associated with their emotional and physical responses. The misdirected anger towards the child is likely to arise form an unresolved situation in the parent’s childhood or past relationships. “Anger Change” aims to change the anger by first understanding where it comes from, and then putting it where it belongs, in most cases, transforming a stressed and difficult relationship into a loving one.

Child Abuse Prevention Services hope that families, whanau and communities through out New Zealand will respond to the challenge of the documentary and seek help. One on the member groups, Anger Change Trust, has programmes starting next week in fourteen areas throughout greater Auckland. Other agencies of Child Abuse Prevention Services are poised to provide services to families in their regions.

Last year Child Abuse Prevention Services had contact with more than 7000 people and spend more than 11,000 hours on counselling, parenting education and support. Most of the client contacts (almost 60%) were female and Pakeha, about 1 in 5 were Maori and approximately 22% of the contacts were male.)

The aim of the Child Abuse Prevention Services is to extend the Anger Change programme to develop this and other successful services further and to increase their availability around New Zealand. The need for the Government to look at collective solutions to child abuse has never been greater. Child Abuse Prevention Services currently has a serious shortage of funding. Ministries such as Health, Welfare, Education and Justice need to work together with agencies such as Child Abuse Prevention Services to ensure the availability of and funding for prevention programmes such as “Anger Change”. The objective of the documentary will not be reached without sufficient funding for community providers such as the Child Abuse Prevention Services.


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