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Stop Violent Behaviour Early

26 March 2009

Stop Violent Behaviour Early

Jigsaw Family Services says Jahche Broughton's attack on Karen Aim would not have happened out of the blue.

The 15-year-old was sentenced to prison for a minimum of twelve and a half years today for the murder of 27-year-old Scottish tourist Karen Aim in Taupo last year.

Tau Huirama, CEO (strategic relationships) of the violence prevention group Jigsaw, says the tragedy might have been averted if Jahche Broughton had been dealt with as soon as he showed signs of unreasonable anger, bullying or aggression.

"I ask, what was happening at home? Children's anger comes from somewhere and shouldn't be dealt with in isolation. Why weren't destructive behaviours picked up at home? And why weren't the adults in his life more involved in his development - before it escalated to this?" he says.

Mr Huirama who has worked extensively with young people identifies a typical pattern of increasingly aggressive behaviour.

"Kids like Jahche Broughton are on the path early. They can be nice children when they're little, then their behaviour becomes disruptive, they bully others, are much worse by nine or ten, and gone by 14.

"They are often bright kids who have no boundaries and begin to believe the whole world is against them. Smashing letterboxes and vandalising property at ten typically leads to bashing their mothers and sisters at 13," he says.

Tau Huirama says adults in the teenager's life could have made a difference.

"His uncle covered up for him after a previous attack and other family members minimised anti-social behaviour like vandalism as "teenage stuff".

"Adults should find the need behind the bad behaviour early on and work to change it. The child may be witnessing family violence or is neglected at some level.

"Children's task in life is to move through the development stages to adulthood in security and safety. Otherwise they'll lash out and become destructive to themselves and others," says Tau Huirama.


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