"New Zealand has it on its conscience that our rate of child death and injury from violence, including in the home, is appalling," she said.
"It is a stain on our international reputation, and I cannot see how those who are demanding the right to be able to thrash and beat children can possibly then turn around and confess concern about what is happening to our children."
So says the Prime Minister in support of Bradford's Bill.
Why is is that Labour understand the idea of targetted tax relief or cash assistance but not targetted social policy?
New Zealanders are badly aggrieved because they feel everybody is being scrutinised and dictated to when the kind of maltreatment the Prime Minister describes happens to children in almost exclusively a very small minority of the population.
I have already cited New Zealand historical surveys. Here is an excerpt from very recent US research into child abuse. The authors were unhappy with relying on a number of studies based on data from Child Protective Services, which showed a relationship between poverty, unemployment, transience,female-headed families and a greater risk of maltreatment, because "poor parents may be both more likely to be accused of child maltreatment and less able to defend themselves against such charges".
So they looked for other data. The following findings are from a extensive health survey of more than 90,000 students, and from these, further randomly selected in-home interviews. A total of 20,745 adolescents were interviewed for Wave 1.
"We see, for example, that children who were maltreated were more likely to have a mother with less than a high school education, more likely to have a father in jail at Wave 1 , more likely to have been on welfare at Wave 1, and more likely to have had a mother who was a teenager at the time of her child's birth."
So I would suggest to the Prime Minister she takes off her ideological blinkers and starts thinking seriously about how to reduce the size of the group from which most of the problems hail. Until she and her fellow travellers do so, she has no right to claim a genuine concern for abused children.
Go out and protest today.
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