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Too Many Families are Failing our Young People

Friday, 2 September 2011

Too Many Families are Failing our Young People

The echo of child abuse continues across the lives of too many in our communities. Many young people and adults face challenges today because of what happened to them early on in their lives, while for some children abuse is fatal.

On Saturday September 3rd Youthline representatives will be joining other agencies and individuals to place teddy bears at war memorials in remembrance of children who have died as a result of abuse at the hands of their parents or caregivers.

Youthline National Spokesperson Stephen Bell says dealing with the effects of abuse is not enough; we need to address the cause so that all young people grow up in a safe and loving environment.

Bell says abuse has a domino effect, creating cycles of violence and high demands on health and social services. New Zealand has one of the highest rates of child death from maltreatment among OECD countries.

“The family home is, in too many cases, NOT a safe haven; we need to come together as a community and support initiatives which stand up and say enough is enough”.

“A foundation of abuse and neglect is what underpins so many of our issues as a community; it underlines our prisons and the demands on health and social services,” says Mr Bell.

We need clear bottom lines but this needs to be balanced by a focus of engagement with families led by the community with the support of statutory agencies, but not led by statutory agencies.

Youthline has been working with young people for over 40 years and is a provider of crisis, early intervention and therapy for people suffering from or at risk of the effects of abuse. Youthline also manages community centers with a new center being developed in Papatoetoe.


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