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Anti-Smacking Law Tragic Failure

21 April 2008

Anti-Smacking Law Tragic Failure as Child Abuse Death Rate Continues

Family First NZ says that the announcement of the death of three-year-old Auckland toddler Dylan Rimoni being treated as a homicide means that the rate of child abuse deaths has continued at the same rate as before the flawed anti-smacking law.

“While good families are being investigated and thrown under suspicion because of the extremist anti-smacking law pushed by the Prime Minister and Sue Bradford, child abuse has continued at the same rate and the same old underlying issues of drug and alcohol abuse and family breakdown and dysfunction continue to be ignored,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Before Bradford’s anti-smacking law was passed, there were an average of 7 child abuse deaths per year since 2000. Since the law change less than a year ago, there has already been another seven.”

They include:
* Remuera 16 month old Sachin Dhani June 2007

* a 28-year-old woman charged with murdering a newborn baby found dead in the backyard of a Te Mome Road property in Alicetown June 2007

* Tokoroa 22-month-old Tyla-Maree Darryl Flynn June 2007

* Rotorua 3 year old Nia Glassie July 2007

* Manurewa ten-month-old Jyniah Mary Te Awa September 2007
* Otahuhu two-month-old Tahani Mahomed December 2007

They don’t include Wanganui toddler Jhia Te Tua shot dead in an alleged gang-related drive-by shooting in the month the bill was passed (May 2007)

“Opponents to Bradford’s anti-smacking law, which included many Plunket, CYF and Barnardos frontline social workers, have been proved right. The law has done nothing to protect at-risk children or to strengthen at-risk families. It has simply made victims of good parents raising good kids.”

“That’s why the petition demanding a referendum which only required 285,000 signatures was presented last month with over 330,000 signatures. NZ’ers are sick of our leaders ‘fluffing’ around the real issues of child abuse,” says Mr McCoskrie.

Family First has a 5 point Action plan launched last July to tackle child abuse - www.stoptheabuse.org.nz



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