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Child Abuse Epidemic Must End

Media Release
17 October 2003

Child Abuse Epidemic Must End

New Zealand First is calling for a community-wide and co-ordinated attack on the root causes of child abuse and neglect that has hit an all time high in the past year.

The Department of Child, Youth and Family Services’ annual report tabled in Parliament yesterday revealed a service in crisis with notifications of possible abuse or neglect up more than 15 per cent on the previous year.

“Considered alongside the loss to the department of an increasing number of senior social workers, the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff has broken down,” says New Zealand First spokesperson for Family and Social Services, Barbara Stewart.

“These alarming figures are indicative of the level of abuse in our society but do not provide the full picture.

“Instead of persecuting Child Youth & Family Services for its inability to deal with this epidemic, we need to put our children first and find constructive ways as a nation and across Government Departments to ensure all our children are brought up in safe, happy and abuse free homes.

“There are at least seven Labour Ministers with some degree of responsibility for ensuring our children are safe and they have a huge financial surplus at their disposal. Surely they can band together to find some solutions instead of leaving an under resourced Child Youth & Family Services to pick up the pieces,” says Mrs Stewart.

ENDS

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