INDEPENDENT NEWS

We Can Prevent Child Deaths in Rodney

Published: Wed 19 Nov 2008 09:50 AM
We Can Prevent Child Deaths in Rodney
Children are being murdered in record numbers in New Zealand. Rodney has so far being spared, how long before a child in Rodney is killed at the hands of loved ones or care givers?
The Rodney district is well known for its beauty and high standard of living, but many people would be surprised to learn that record numbers of children are being abused in our community.
Child abuse in all its forms is not confined to South Auckland or Rotorua. Or to any socio-economic group-it can happen anywhere and it is happening in Rodney.
Yesterday five people Nia Glassie trusted to care for her were found guilty of assaulting and murdering her. The trial highlighted that people other than the five accused were aware of the abuse, but did nothing. Her screams fell silent.
Local Child Advocate for family violence Josie Young says “The people who killed her were the same people Nia trusted to care for her. Nia was too young to protect herself. I’d like to think that we as a Rodney community can learn from her death and all act as the protectors of the children in our community.”
The 100 plus Rodney agencies that participate in the Te Rito Rodney Family Violence Prevention Network support a zero tolerance to all forms of family violence in Rodney. However, Te Rito Rodney coordinator Diane Woolson Neville is aware that not everyone is aware of how to ask for help and support.
She says, “Nia’s death tells us that we must be willing to act when we suspect abuse. If you are unsure, ring Child Youth and Family, a family violence agency, police, or any support agency to talk it though. Making a report about suspected child abuse can seem intimidating, but making that phone call could prevent the first child in Rodney.”
ENDS

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