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Child abuse cases soar under Labour

Child abuse cases soar under Labour

Tuesday 5 Apr 2005

Dr Muriel NewmanPress Releases - Social Welfare

The number of Maori children being emotionally abused has more than doubled in the last five years under Labour, ACT deputy leader Dr Muriel Newman said today.

New information from the Child Youth and Family Service, released to Dr Newman, shows in the year to March 2005, 1861 Maori children were the victims of emotional abuse compared with 900 in March 2000.

The number of European children suffering emotional abuse jumped from 980 cases in March 2000, to 1485 in March 2005.

Physical abuse cases involving Maori children jumped from 851 in March 2000 to 1005 in March 2005.

Neglect cases involving Maori children rose from 1337 in March 2000 to 1910 in March 2005, while the number of neglect cases involving European children rose from 1158 to 1375 in the same period.

"These numbers show that in spite of spending billions of dollars, Labour has clearly failed to close the gaps," Dr Newman said. "Instead of closing the gaps these figures show the gaps are widening."

"If Labour truly wanted to help the country's children it would stop throwing money at a problem that money alone will not solve. Addressing fatherless ness and implementing welfare reform are two known ways to turn around these worrying statistics.

"Only a collaborative approach using a one-stop welfare agency concept linking police, education, health and welfare - with a goal of reducing child abuse in the community will have the ability to turn around the escalation in child abuse that we are seeing," Dr Newman said.

ENDS

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