Thursday, 14 April 2011
...for child abuse... So said the 1994 bumper sticker. Since then NZ has been subject to child abuse reports that sicken, shame and horrify. The term child abuse in itself understates the horror of it all - it makes it sound like childish banter and bullying in the playground. Child torture is a much more accurate term. Michael Laws of the Sunday Star Times has dared to dwell on the subject. He alone features it regularly in his columns to the shame of other journalists. If the issue involved systematic ongoing conservation or environmental concerns many more would no doubt join in as would editors and protest groups. Similarly muted are the voices of politiciansand bureaucrats, except of course to say that more "resources" are needed to fight it, as if throwing money around will alleviate our national shame and agony. What a pathetic, cowardly lot we all are !
Chief among the cowards are our Maori MP's. They are aware that proportionally, Maori statistics outweigh all other groups - with regard to offenders and victims. Maori MP's no doubt shed silent private tears over reports of dead and battered children, but the main sentiment from them that reaches us is that historic colonial oppression is a major causative factor and that more research and more money and more Maori cultural awareness is needed from us all to solve the problem. No mention of any shame or any personal responsibility, or the fact that for decades young mothers have been encouraged with cash handouts to bear children away from the shelter of the secure family unit into the whanau, where the young child is subject to attack from the current (non blood related) boyfriend(s) and all others.
I recently heard Paula Bennett, our Minister for Social Welfare speak. She said that her department are aware of 30,000 cases a year of child abuse and brutality. Many cases of severe injury; burns and broken bones, go unreported. It is only the more sensational and horrific that make the news.
The real news then, behind this posting is simply that deliberate brutality inflicted on children is evil. The concept of sin has all but vanished from our terminology, we even use the word "wicked" as a positive adjective of endorsement. I intend to do my small bit to publicise the evil of child abuse and its circumstances here in NZ, and in particular to publicise the politicians whose ineffectual hand wringing over it effectively condones and prolongs the scandal of it all. We have a general election looming in NZ. I will be agitating to see that each political party has a policy to help reduce the numbers of abused children. I have a feeling that many voters are disgusted, dismayed and angry over the hypocrisy, inactivity and double talk that surrounds the problem. A helpful site I have stumbled on is FamilyIntegrity.org.nz. Please pay it a visit. Enough is enough...