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Child Abuse Statistics Appall Sensible Sentencing Trust

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Child Abuse Statistics Appall Sensible Sentencing Trust

The Sensible Sentencing Trust (SST) is outraged by the latest findings by the Salvation Army’s State of the Nation report on child abuse. According to the report, children continue to be violently and sexually assaulted at a disturbing rate in New Zealand with a shocking 68% increase in reported cases in the past five years.

“This just confirms one thing,” Nadia Crighton, Sensible Sentencing Trusts Spokesperson for the Prevention of Child Abuse says. “What we have been doing to date has failed to address the problem, the Government really needs to tackle this head on and make preventing child abuse and sexual abuse a major political campaign.”

The report confirms what the SST has feared; the massive increase in the number of sexual assaults and violent acts against the next generation of kiwis. Facts show that over the past five years; recorded assaults on children have doubled from 1,328 to 2,667 while reported sexual offences against children rose by a shocking 43%.

“This only reflects cases which are reported,” Crighton says. “There are thousands that go unreported, it’s a serious problem that the politicians have to address immediately.”

She also suggests that inequality could possibly have nothing to do with child abuse and that the lack of personal responsibility and accountability could be the key contributor. “It’s horrific to think that people are more inclined to report the abuse of a dog compared to the abuse of a child.”

This is evident in New Zealand culture in the case of Nia Glassie who’s neighbor witnessed the toddler being flung from the clothes line but didn’t report it to the police.
“It’s about time we make everyone accountable for child abuse,” Crighton says. “If you ignore child abuse, then you should be an ‘accessory to child abuse’ and incur fines and possible jail time.”

SST also believes that our judicial system is letting down children by imposing light sentences, and allowing abusers to hide behind name suppression. “It’s about time our judges, that I believe have become desensitized to the abuse New Zealand kids are exposed too, become accountable for the ‘slap on the wrist’ sentences they impose.”


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