Friday, September 25, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The West Australian
23 September 2009
Mum, not dad, more likely to neglect kids
By Jessica Strutt
Mothers are more likely than fathers to neglect and emotionally and
physically abuse their children, information obtained under freedom of
information laws reveals.
But figures from the WA Department for Child Protection show substantiated
cases of child sexual abuse against fathers still far outnumber those
The data shows that parents were the perpetrators in almost 39 per cent of
the 1505 substantiated cases of child abuse in 2007-08. Of the 582 cases of
abuse by parents, mothers were responsible for 73 per cent, while fathers
committed 27 per cent.
Mothers were more than 17 times more likely than fathers to neglect their
children, while fathers were responsible for 85 per cent of sex abuse cases
Mothers carried out almost 68 per cent of cases of emotional and
psychological abuse committed by parents, about 53 per cent of physical
abuse and more than 94 per cent of neglect cases.
Cases of substantiated abuse jumped from 960 in 2005-06 to 1505 in 2007-08.
In 2005-06, mothers committed 312 cases, while fathers were responsible for
In 2005-06, mothers were responsible for 161 neglect, 72 emotional and
psychological, 76 physical and three sexual abuse cases against their
children. In the same financial year, fathers were responsible for 37
neglect, 41 emotional and psychological, 65 physical and 22 sexual abuse
cases against their children.
A DCP spokesman said figures between years were not comparable because
measuring methodologies may have changed.
Of the total substantiated cases of abuse in 2007-08, including by parents
and where the gender of the perpetrator was determined, 463 were carried
out by women and 353 by men.
University of Western Sydney academic Micheal Woods said yesterday that the
statistics debunked the myth that fathers posed the greatest risk to their
Mr Woods, co-director of the university's Men's Health Information and
Resource Centre, said if similar data was available in other States it
would show similar trends.
Adults Surviving Child Abuse WA spokeswoman Michelle Stubbs said an initial
look at the data did not present a clear explanation and other factors had
to be considered.
She said it was important to keep in mind that mothers were often the
primary caregivers for children and also may be held more responsible by
the department in neglect cases.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Media Release 10 Sep 09
"21 Reasons WHY MARRIAGE MATTERS" - a trans-tasman effort to highlight the benefits of marriage has been released in New Zealand. The report was commissioned by Family First NZ and FamilyLife NZ in conjunction with a number of family organisations in Australia including the Australian Family Association, Family Voice Australia and Dads4Kids and is an update of the report originally released in the US in 2002.
Family First's Bob McCoskrie and Family Life's Andy Bray have contributed to the report and some of the photography includes a recently married Kiwi couple posing in front of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
"This edition has 146 researched footnotes including NZ-based research and presents strong evidence that marriage is more than a private emotional relationship. It is a social good and we should develop policies, laws, and family and community interventions to help strengthen marriages. The weakening of marriage is one of the most important social issues we are facing in NZ," says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
Andy Bray (right), National Director of FamilyLife NZ says, "Despite the decline in the marriage rate, and an increase in couples choosing not to marry, statistics prove again and again that married life, while not perfect, still provides the very best environment for personal health and wealth, for raising secure responsible children, and for a more enjoyable sex life. That's why we invest our lives into equipping people with skills to enjoy married life. We also believe it helps build a stronger nation."
Call For National Debate On Promoting Marriage
Family First Media Release 10 Sep 09
Family First NZ is calling for a nationwide debate on promoting marriage as a result of their just-released report "21 Reasons Why Marriage Matters" which documents the psychological, social, economical and health benefits of marriage.
"It is time that government policies and rhetoric acknowledged that there is a difference in terms of outcomes between marriage and other forms of relationship," says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
"Family breakdown and decreasing marriage rates are seldom considered in debate on social policy issues, such as poverty among families with children. A recent 70-page report issued by the Children's Commissioner and Barnardos contained no reference to marriage or divorce, despite the rate of poverty being five times higher for sole parent families."
"Whenever marriage is promoted, it has often been labeled as an attack on solo or divorced parents, and that has kept us from recognizing the qualitative benefits of marriage which have been discovered from decades of research."
"Marriage has changed a great deal, with the marriage rate at approximately 14 marriages per 1,000 married adults, less than a third of the peak level of 45.5 per 1000 recorded in 1971. It has been impacted over the past decades by an increased level and acceptance of divorce, cohabiting, and unwed childbearing. NZ has a high teenage birth rate and sole parents with dependent children made up 30 percent of families with children."
"Yet in virtually every category that social science has measured, children and adults do better when parents get married and stay married - provided there is no presence of high conflict or violence."
"The Statement of Intent just published by the Families Commission fails to mention marriage even once. Yet domestic violence and child abuse - two pet topics of the Commission - is far more prevalent in families where the biological parents are not both present and married."
Family First in conjunction with the NZIER has also highlighted the 'marriage tax' which penalises a married couple by up to $15,000 in their household income compared with a couple who separates or divorces.
"Marriage is like a 'life quality' insurance policy for children and parents and it's time we were honest enough to admit that,' says Mr McCoskrie.
CHECK OUT THE WEBSITE http://www.nzmarriage.org.nz/
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DOWNLOAD Family First's research from 2008
The Value of Family
(Fiscal Benefits of Marriage and Reducing Family Breakdown in New Zealand)
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
The Healing Power of Grandparents
Press Release: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
9 September 2009
The Healing Power of Grandparents
A 2009 study of Grandparents raising Grandchildren in New Zealand has shown a high level of long-term commitment to the children in spite of huge difficulties and little if any support.
Following a ground-breaking study of grandparent and other kin carers published in 2005, the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust commissioned a further study of long-term carers to examine how well the carers and grandchildren had fared over time. Thirty-three percent of the children had been with the grandparents for ten years or longer, 49% from 6 to 9 years and 18% between 4 and 5 years.
More than half the children were reported as having serious physical and psychological problems as a result of the abuse and neglect they had before coming into their grandparents care. However, eighty-six percent reported significant improvements over time. “The research shows this is directly attributed to the stability of care and the resilience and commitment of the grandparents,” reports Jill Worrall, social work consultant and author of the report which will also be presented at the inaugural Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust’s National Conference; ‘A Grandparent’s love, for our children, for our future’ at the Ellerslie Convention Centre on 28 and 29 October 2009 during Grandparents Week 2009.
“While the grandparents described the joy of seeing the children recover and thrive, they also described the struggles they experience. Deterioration in their own health as they advance in years, expensive legal wrangles to maintain custody and a need for family were expressed along with a need for better and affordable housing, assistance with education costs and clothing in many cases,” says Worrall.
The 2005 study revealed the precarious financial status of many of the grandparents. “Once again alarming statistics have emerged in this report; with total family income being less than $20,000 p.a. for 22% of respondents and less than $30,000 for 25% of respondents. Solo carers, who represented 38.6% of participants, were particularly financially compromised. Several described a struggle to feed themselves and their children adequately. One carer stated a wish “not to go to bed hungry,[for] clothes that fit, money to survive and not to have to worry about work and income and the situation of my daughter”, says Worrall.
In April this year the Unsupported Child Benefit was raised to the same base weekly payment afforded to unrelated foster carers. “This will assist, but grandparents raising grandchildren are not currently eligible for the ancillary payments for clothing, health/medical and education costs that are available to foster carers,” says Diane Vivian; the Trust’s founder and National Convenor. “Consequently many grandparents still face extreme hardship meeting the costs associated with caring for children who need ongoing specialist medical, therapeutic or educational help as a result of the abuse and trauma they suffered before their grandparents stepped in to care for them.”
Compared to recent data released by Child Youth and family in regard to numbers of placements experienced by children in State Care, the children in the study sample have been afforded a high level of stability and rehabilitation. Recent Child Youth and Family figures also show that the incidence of kinship care varies across cultures with 53% of Maori children in need of care placed with whanau, 59% of Pacific Island children placed with fono compared to only 31% of Pakeha children placed with their extended families. The study evidenced that the children in whanau/family care do well, but their carers need on-going support to do this.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Family of Tisha Lowry cried and hugged as a second body, believed to be the missing Christchurch woman, was removed from under her neighbour's house.
Three days after police announced the discovery of two women buried beneath the Aranui home of a 32-year-old man, the second body was removed at 7pm yesterday.
Lowry's family, including her mother Tanya Lowry and sister Leanne Hodder, held each other for support as the body was loaded into a hearse in the driveway of the Wainoni Rd house.
Behind them, friends performed a haka while about 50 people looked on.
Tisha Lowry's aunt, Joanne Paul, said the family were too distressed to comment and "just want to be left alone".
Lowry, 28, was last seen walking towards her Hampshire St home, two doors down from the murder scene, on September 25 last year.
The body of a 35-year-old woman was removed on Saturday.
The homeowner has since been charged with murdering his wife.
Both women were buried under the floor of the two-storey home, accessed through a manhole in a cupboard at the bottom of the stairs.
Part of the house had to be demolished to reach the bodies.
The autopsy on the first body had been completed, but formal identification was not expected for a few days.
Police said details would not be released.
Detective Inspector Tom Fitzgerald said further charges would be considered when the investigation was completed.
The homeowner is due to reappear in the Christchurch District Court on Friday.
Both his name and that of his dead wife are suppressed.
A Christchurch man who spent three years helping the couple fight to regain custody of their three children said yesterday they used to pray together in the lounge of the Wainoni Rd house.
Peter Burns, who runs the Dad4Justice blog, was the Family Court advocate for the dead woman and the man accused of her murder.
The couple contacted Burns through the internet when they moved from Taupo to Christchurch about three years ago.
The woman told Burns that Child, Youth and Family (CYF) had removed their children after she asked them for support.
"They had come to Christchurch for a fresh start ... . She was a lovely girl and I was encouraging her to get herself together to get her children back."
Burns continued to coach the couple to build a stable family unit so they could win back their children.
"We used to pray together in the lounge.Another Taupo senior minister Keith Harrington, who met the couple when they were part of his congregation, said the churchgoing community was "shocked, incredulous and overwhelmed".
The couple had married in the church and were regular attendees.
He said the couple moved to Christchurch after the children were placed in care and made several return visits to see the children throughout the past three years.
"We are thankful that the children are safe."
Monday, September 7, 2009
He was so moved by my major depressive family court episode he rung me and asked me "how did you survive the terrible ordeal". He then went on and gave me credit for my fight against such a miscarriage of justice. He said he would contact Judge Boshier. Oh well that was in 2007.Maybe I"ll write to that Peter Dumb pollie possum head chap for an answer? Fob city and the Families Commission is a croc of shit.
Families Commission defends its role
Published: 2:05PM Sunday September 06, 2009
The Families Commission is rejecting any idea that its existence is a massive waste of taxpayers' money.
The commission costs $8 million a year to run, but chief commissioner Jan Pryor told TVNZ's Q+A programme they are making a difference.
The commission has been in the news recently after telling schools to rethink how they deal with badly behaved students, prompting primary teachers to tell them to butt out of school business.
Dr Pryor told Paul Holmes the commission fills a niche which enables it to give contestable advice to government and to talk to families openly.
Defending the worth of the commission, Pryor says in the five years it has been in existence it has had a direct impact on parental leave and elder abuse. And she says the commission has been instrumental in helping families get out of debt.
The commission was set up under a political context and Pryor would like to see it become more independent. She says although it was established under Labour as part of a deal with Peter Dunne's United Future Party , it is now working closely and well with the National government.
"I would argue very strongly now that the Commission has earned its stripes."
Pryor says before taking up her appointment she was leading a centre doing research on families but she believes she can do more for New Zealand families in "this position of independence".
"The Commission in particular has led and mostly funded the It's Not Okay campaign.
"We get far more response from Maori and Pacific than we do from anyone else, in terms of saying they know about it, they want to make a difference, they're doing things to make a difference around family violence."
Meanwhile, United Future's Peter Dunne has come to the defence of the commission which is being accused by lobbyists and bloggers of being a complete waste of taxpayers' money.
Dunne says it is helping shift people's attitudes towards family violence, which he says is one of the country's biggest problems. He says the commission has also done a lot of work on the way separated families operate.
Dunne says many in the community such as family advocacy organisations will attest to the work it is doing.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
God bless both victims.
Ex –boarder –horrified –by –Christchurch murders
A woman believed murdered and buried beneath her Aranui home was overjoyed to be clean of drugs and alcohol and was looking forward to winning back her children, friends say.
Police said yesterday the second body beneath the house on the corner of Hampshire St and Wainoni Rd, believed to be that of missing woman Tisha Lowry, 28, was expected to be removed from its shallow grave late today.
Meanwhile, a woman who boarded with the dead woman and her husband - the murder accused - said she had recently been urged to move back to the house, now dubbed Christchurch's "House of Horrors".
Sala Flutey, who lived with the pair from July 2007 to January 2008, said she was "relieved" she did not take up the couple's offer.
"I'm still freaking out about it," she said.
Two women's bodies were discovered under the house by police on Friday.
The body of the wife of the accused was removed from the makeshift grave, accessed through a manhole under the stairs, on Saturday.
Flutey said the couple, whose names are suppressed, appeared "normal" in the days leading up to the woman's disappearance on Sunday, August 30.
However, the woman had become insistent about being visited, Flutey said.
"She was nagging me to come have a coffee every day."
She had been to their house on August 21 and though the murder-accused seemed normal, his wife had asked him "why are you so on-edge all the time?"
Flutey said she felt "horrible" knowing now that a body had been buried beneath them while she was having dinner at their house.
"I don't think she [the woman] knew," Flutey said.
Flutey said the 35-year-old woman had a history of alcohol and painkiller abuse but had been attending Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous and was overcoming her problems.
"She was going round saying 'I love being clean, it's so good'."
Flutey said the woman had been "emotionally distressed" about her children being taken into care by Child, Youth and Family, but was hoping to get them back.
"She knew it was going to be a long road."
Flutey said she was living in Shirley when Lowry, who lived two houses along from the couple, went missing last September.
The Lowry family could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Another friend of the dead woman, who declined to be named, said she was "just really shocked".
"I walked over her body [Lowry's] and I didn't even know it."
The woman said her friend was a "spiritual" woman and a good listener.
Detective Inspector Tom Fitzgerald said the exhumation of the bodies was "slow and detailed".
"For us to get to where we need to be, we need to dismantle parts of the property."
The bodies were not far from the manhole that led under the house.
Fitzgerald said he expected investigators to be at the scene for some time.
It was a detailed forensic examination and investigators would go through "grain by grain of sand".
A 32-year-old man appeared in the Christchurch District Court on Friday charged with murdering his 35-year-old wife.
No further charges had been laid against the man, who is in custody, Fitzgerald said.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
I have fought as hard as Jolly for my lost daughters. The Family Court is a sick unit that provides income for devious lying lawyers and psychologists. I guess a couple hundred court appearances in eight years cost plenty . Mum gave up and died now I am left with a dozen or so convictions based on lies made in the insidious Family Court.
I will write a book one day so people can read my battle against evil.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Kiwi kids are kill kids. Well done cruel - greedy kiwi.What a disgraceful country run by selfish ego freaks who couldn't give a toss about the terrible plight of our children.
High teen suicide rate in NZ confirmed
3 September 2009
An OECD report on child poverty confirms New Zealand has the highest rate of suicide in the developed world.
High teenage suicide and infant mortality rates, coupled with low immunisation rates, were key features identified in the report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
It ranked New Zealand 29th out of its 30 members for children's health and safety, just beating Turkey.
The report suggests suicide rates for New Zealanders between the ages of 15 and 19 years are well ahead of countries such as Ireland, Canada and the United States.
However, the Health Ministry says although New Zealand's youth suicide is the highest amongst developed countries, it has come down nationally.
Child and Youth Health chief adviser Pat Tuohy says the Suicide Prevention Strategy introduced three years ago is making a difference.
The report's co-author Dominic Richardson told Nine to Noon the statistics for New Zealand are poor, considering it is more wealthy than some other countries in the OECD.
The report also suggests high rates of child poverty and teen pregnancy in New Zealand. Mr Richardson says though New Zealand spends more than many other countries on older children, this spending is not being focused on problem areas.
The Child Poverty Action Group says the report comes as no surprise and though there have been some improvements, it is concerned the recession will undo what progress has been made.
GO - Listen to item on Nine to Noon
Government has taken action - Bennett
Politicians say the OEDC report on child poverty makes for grim reading.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett agrees the report does not look good, but says the situation has improved since the data for the report was collected in 2003.
Ms Bennett says the Government has already taken action, but says it is not just about throwing money at the problem.
The Labour Party's Annette King says the dismal trends identified in the report were the reasons it launched the Working for Families package when it was in government.
She says Labour also introduced before school and at birth checks, but agrees there is more work to be done.
Maori Party's co-leader Tariana Turia says the report confirms what the party has been saying about the plight of New Zealand's children.