20 SEPTEMBER 2007
Yet Another Child Abuse Story
Catherine Lawson from Jigsaw, National Consultant, National Infrastructure for Children and Youth (NICY) who Witness
Family Violence, speaks out following the recent case where a small three year old girl, nicknamed “Pumpkin”, who has
been identified as a 3 year old child who has been living in a family violence environment.
Ms Lawson’s says “that even when children are not being physically harmed, family violence has a haunting impact on
children who witness it.”
“Generally, children witnessing family violence have more behavioural and emotional problems than children who are not
in abusive environments. Research shows that children and young people living in family violence have very individual
reactions to the violence. Children do not develop behaviourally or emotionally like they should when they have
witnessed family violence.”
Ms Lawson adds “Children that witness family violence require enormous assistance and support to be able to move through
their developmental stages after experiencing the traumatic witnessing of family violence. We have a moral obligation to
unite in the protection of our children and take measures to put a halt to the high levels of child abuse in Aotearoa”.