Who is to blame?

The abusers, the parents, the children, the system or you?

The abusers, the parents, the children, the system or you?

Who is to blame? The abusers, the parents, the children, the system or you?

Child abuse has come under the spotlight again. It’s a sick routine that plays out regularly in our country, but to end it we need to start somewhere, and child abuse needs to be top of the agenda.

New Zealand has one of the worst child abuse records in OECD countries, number five on the list — and that is only the reported cases.

Research, in a 2012 report by NZ Child and Youth Epidemiology Service, shows that a child is admitted to a New Zealand hospital every second day from child abuse, whether it’s assault, neglect or maltreatment. On average a child dies every five weeks as a result of abuse.

The numbers speak for themselves, New Zealand is suffering from something far bigger than the odd ‘bad apple’.

Moko

This year we saw the story of 3-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri. He was described as a sweet young boy but was tortured and beaten to death last year by Tania Shailer and David Haerewa.

This has to be New Zealand’s worst known child abuse case of all time.

Nine times out of 10 children are abused by someone they know, whether that is neglect, emotional, physical or sexual abuse. Almost 50 percent of victims are under five. (Child Matters NZ)

In baby Moko’s instance, he knew the abusers, they were his and his sister’s carers.

It was only intended for a short time while his mother cared for another child in Starship Children’s Hospital.

Her interview was a hard one to watch, it aired on TV3’s Story in May. She shared her ordeal of finding out her son was dead, while having no idea of what was going on under her nose.

It’s easy for us to put the blame on someone else — whether its the ‘evil’ abuser, the ‘ignorant’ parents, the ‘naughty’ kid, the ‘ever failing’ system — but the reality is, we all are to blame.

'We are what we glorify'

Only a few weeks ago I was listening to RNZ’s Morning Report, not your typical station for a 16-year-old but forgive me — it was the channel of choice in my aunty’s car.

A woman, whose name I don’t quite remember, sent in a comment which caught my attention.

“We are what we glorify.”

That statement was in relation to the current events — hundreds have already marched in support of baby Moko this year, some in the same week as hundreds of thousands witnessed Joseph Parker earn his place in the boxing hall of fame.

Does this make you wonder whether the admiration for the violent sporting culture in New Zealand has an impact on the high rate of abuse?

Blaming all of us for the death of Moko and the abuse of many other children is not something I’d say lightly.

She won't 'be right'

In my opinion, the ‘she’ll be right’ attitude is a major reason causing the rate of child abuse to be so high. It is time for us to stop ignoring what goes on over the fence.

Now I am not pitying abusers, but quite commonly they have suffered from abuse themselves. I cannot speak on their behalf, but often they believe it’s a normal thing and the cycle goes round and round.

In other cases there are parents or caregivers who are uneducated in how to care for children.

All of these warrant help, which is far too often never there.

Systemic failures

Although they rarely recognise it, the government has failed many children through the systemic failures of government agencies.

I think in Moko’s case Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and Women’s Refuge would have both known something was going on, as they met with Tania Shailer on July 30, 2015, only 11 days before he was killed.

In other cases children are let down by agencies when they don’t take children out of abusive homes.

Young parents too can be limited to what they provide for their children. There is so little free education on teaching them how to look after and care for their children.

With no support and stability, nothing is going to change.

So step up New Zealand, don’t sit back and watch the cycle continue, make a stance before another child becomes another statistic.

www.childmatters.org.nz/55/learn-about-child-abuse/facts

Who is to blame? The abusers, the parents, the children, the system or you?

Child abuse has come under the spotlight again. It’s a sick routine that plays out regularly in our country, but to end it we need to start somewhere, and child abuse needs to be top of the agenda.

New Zealand has one of the worst child abuse records in OECD countries, number five on the list — and that is only the reported cases.

Research, in a 2012 report by NZ Child and Youth Epidemiology Service, shows that a child is admitted to a New Zealand hospital every second day from child abuse, whether it’s assault, neglect or maltreatment. On average a child dies every five weeks as a result of abuse.

The numbers speak for themselves, New Zealand is suffering from something far bigger than the odd ‘bad apple’.

Moko

This year we saw the story of 3-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri. He was described as a sweet young boy but was tortured and beaten to death last year by Tania Shailer and David Haerewa.

This has to be New Zealand’s worst known child abuse case of all time.

Nine times out of 10 children are abused by someone they know, whether that is neglect, emotional, physical or sexual abuse. Almost 50 percent of victims are under five. (Child Matters NZ)

In baby Moko’s instance, he knew the abusers, they were his and his sister’s carers.

It was only intended for a short time while his mother cared for another child in Starship Children’s Hospital.

Her interview was a hard one to watch, it aired on TV3’s Story in May. She shared her ordeal of finding out her son was dead, while having no idea of what was going on under her nose.

It’s easy for us to put the blame on someone else — whether its the ‘evil’ abuser, the ‘ignorant’ parents, the ‘naughty’ kid, the ‘ever failing’ system — but the reality is, we all are to blame.

'We are what we glorify'

Only a few weeks ago I was listening to RNZ’s Morning Report, not your typical station for a 16-year-old but forgive me — it was the channel of choice in my aunty’s car.

A woman, whose name I don’t quite remember, sent in a comment which caught my attention.

“We are what we glorify.”

That statement was in relation to the current events — hundreds have already marched in support of baby Moko this year, some in the same week as hundreds of thousands witnessed Joseph Parker earn his place in the boxing hall of fame.

Does this make you wonder whether the admiration for the violent sporting culture in New Zealand has an impact on the high rate of abuse?

Blaming all of us for the death of Moko and the abuse of many other children is not something I’d say lightly.

She won't 'be right'

In my opinion, the ‘she’ll be right’ attitude is a major reason causing the rate of child abuse to be so high. It is time for us to stop ignoring what goes on over the fence.

Now I am not pitying abusers, but quite commonly they have suffered from abuse themselves. I cannot speak on their behalf, but often they believe it’s a normal thing and the cycle goes round and round.

In other cases there are parents or caregivers who are uneducated in how to care for children.

All of these warrant help, which is far too often never there.

Systemic failures

Although they rarely recognise it, the government has failed many children through the systemic failures of government agencies.

I think in Moko’s case Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and Women’s Refuge would have both known something was going on, as they met with Tania Shailer on July 30, 2015, only 11 days before he was killed.

In other cases children are let down by agencies when they don’t take children out of abusive homes.

Young parents too can be limited to what they provide for their children. There is so little free education on teaching them how to look after and care for their children.

With no support and stability, nothing is going to change.

So step up New Zealand, don’t sit back and watch the cycle continue, make a stance before another child becomes another statistic.

www.childmatters.org.nz/55/learn-about-child-abuse/facts

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Anonymous - 1 year ago
This is all too much to hold in anymore. Baby Moko did not deserve to die, he was only a baby.

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