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Mikus Verdict Evidence of Generational Violence

Thursday 6 May 2004

Mikus Guilty Verdict Evidence of Generational Violence

“A clear illustration of the generational cycle of abuse and violence,” that’s how one social agency is describing the Jules Mikus Snr jury finding yesterday.

Christchurch’s Family Help Trust works with at-risk children in high-risk families and sees this latest case as evidence of dual generational sexual offending. Jules Mikus snr, is the father of Teresa Cormack's convicted killer.

The Trust is concerned that not enough is being done in the area of early intervention.

“We are achieving phenomenal results keeping children safer and breaking the cycle of violence and abuse,” says Clinical Services Manager, Bill Pringle. “Our long term, home based early intervention programmes are proving to be the key. We do not want to be the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, we are successfully acting as the barrier at the top.”

Mr Pringle believes New Zealand could do a better job of protecting children from child abuse and the generational perpetuation of violence within families.

“As with the Mikus case, it appears that the apple does not fall far from the tree and there is plenty of reputable evidence and research that supports this trend generally,” says Mr Pringle.

Family Help Trust cites New Zealand’s own Roper Report from the late 1980’s and more recent research, which identifies early childhood intervention as one of the keys to lowering New Zealand’s rates of crime and childhood abuse.

“We teach our families responsibility and accountability, and services continue until the youngest child in the family starts school, which can mean we work with a family for up to 5 years. That’s something the state social service just can’t offer at the moment,” says Mr Pringle.

The Trust has recently taken on a number of families that had been on their waiting list, thanks to funding from the Lion Foundation, which enabled them to employ two more social workers.

Family Help Trust will also receive a share of any profits from the sale of United list MP, Marc Alexander’s book, “Eyes With Both Eyes Open” which is being launched at St Andrews College Senior Lounge next Monday 10 May, 6.30pm.


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