Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Report into abuse of nine-year-old girl

21 December 2011

Report into abuse of nine-year-old girl

Mel Smith’s report on the abuse of a nine-year-old girl is distressing reading but has been a catalyst for changes to the way we protect our children, Children’s Commissioner Dr Russell Wills said today.

“It’s been just over one year since the discovery of the horrific abuse - and time has not faded the shocking details of this case.

“I hope she is now on a steady path to recovery and beginning to experience the childhood she deserves. I also hope the media will continue to respect her privacy and let her grow up free from public scrutiny,” he said.

“It’s fair to say this young girl was let down by professionals who lacked the skills and support needed to intervene. But ultimately the accountability for this horrific abuse lies with her parents. That should not be forgotten in all of this.”

The Commissioner said the report is well-written, thorough and makes excellent recommendations for improving our child protection systems. Many of these have been incorporated in the Green Paper on Vulnerable Children.

“The report identifies some clear gaps in child protection practice and policy in New Zealand; gaps in professional supervision, gaps in training of professionals and a lack of information sharing.

“We should be angry about cases like this. We should be disappointed. But there are things we can do to reduce the chances of a case like this in the future. There are no guarantees but there are things we can do as a society to better protect our children.

“It should be much easier to share information between services when they have concerns about the safety of a child. This case demonstrates how easily things can go wrong when people within services are not talking to each other or sharing what they know about a family.

“People working in professions involved with children should be taught core skills in identifying, assessing and referring child abuse. There are real risks when people don’t have the skills or confidence to ask the right questions,” he said.

The Commissioner said the case ultimately demonstrates the importance of having a child-centred approach.

“All these issues have been raised in the Green Paper on Vulnerable Children. This Paper is the best opportunity we have to make tangible changes to the way we protect our children.

“We owe it to all victims of abuse to reduce the chances of this ever happening again and to think differently about the way we treat and value our children.”

The Children’s Commissioner strongly urges all media to respect the privacy of the young girl at the centre of this case.

She has clearly experienced significant trauma and been let down by people she should have been able to trust. So far, the media have been responsible and reported on this case without attempting to identify her or contact her. It is imperative to the recovery of this young girl that this continues.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Labour Refusing To Lead A Progressive Drugs Policy

Once again, Labour has chosen not to use (a) its parliamentary majority and (b) the huge mandate it was given at the last election in order to (c) bring about progressive social change. Once again, Labour seems to regard its main purpose for being in power as being to keep National and Act out of power. Will Labour for instance, overhaul our out-dated, unsafe, and unjust laws on drugs? No, it will not... More>>

 

Agriculture: Government To Phase Out Live Exports By Sea

The Government has announced that the export of livestock by sea will cease following a transition period of up to two years, said Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “At the heart of our decision is upholding New Zealand’s reputation for high ... More>>

ALSO:

Norman Gemmell: New Zealand’s New Housing Policy Is Really Just A New Tax Package — And It’s A Shambles

Norman Gemmell , Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington Economists like to talk about “optimal policy instruments” — essentially, policies that achieve their objectives more effectively or efficiently than the alternatives, and ... More>>

Climate Change: Emissions Report Shows Urgent Action Needed

Every part of Government will need to take urgent action to bring down emissions, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said today in response to the recent rise in New Zealand’s greenhouse emissions. The latest annual inventory of New ... More>>

ALSO:


Claire Breen: ACC’s Policy Of Not Covering Birth Injuries Is One More Sign The System Is Overdue For Reform

Claire Breen , University of Waikato Recent media coverage of women not being able to get treatment for birth injuries highlights yet another example of gender bias in healthcare in New Zealand. More>>

Police: Police Accept Findings Of IPCA Report Into Photographs Taken At Checkpoint

Police accept the findings of a report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) relating to photographs taken at a checkpoint in Northland. On November 16, 2019, Police set up a checkpoint down the road from a fight night event in Ruakaka ... More>>

ALSO:

Health: Drug-Testing Law To Be Made Permanent

Interim legislation that is already proving to keep people safer from drugs will be made permanent, Health Minister Andrew Little says. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels