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Thursday, May 20

Stopping child abuse needs to be top priority

Stopping child abuse needs to be a top priority for the Police, the Government and society as a whole, said the Green Party today.

Today, the Independent Police Complaints Authority (IPCA) released a report on how Police investigate child abuse claims. The report found problems in how claims are being handled and recommended sweeping changes.

“The level of child abuse in New Zealand is a national disgrace. We need to be doing everything we can to address it,” said Green Party Co-Leader Metiria Turei.

“Child abuse must be a top priority for Police, and they must be provided the resources to address this problem.

“The IPCA recommendations must be taken up as soon as possible. There needs to be well resourced child focussed teams who specialise in investigating abuse claims.

“The Government needs to make children a priority and put them at the centre of their policy. There is no greater treasure than our children but too often their needs are being ignored. 

“As a society we need to get serious about addressing the drivers of child abuse such as poverty, inequality and social exclusion.

“New Zealand is one of the most unequal societies in the OECD, and all the research shows that family and child violence is higher in unequal societies. We urgently need to address inequality but John Key’s Government is pushing us in the opposite direction,” said Mrs Turei.