There are some statistical mistakes or misunderstandings I could comment on but the point I want to highlight is this.
For ten years I have been actively, purposefully and methodically attacking the DPB. When I began the detractors were outnumbering the supporters easily.
I would diligently, obsessively, deal with any arguments using fact. But in the early days I also invested emotion and took counter-attacks very personally. That is a no-no now.
The comments in the NZ Herald responding to my column ran roughly 50/50 pro and agin. Progress. Great.
The first three comments to Donna Wynd are negative. I read these because they came out on the printed version. Haven't perused the others as yet.
My personal battle with the DPB protagonists isn't important. We could spar endlessly and never persuade each other.
The vital aspect of the debate is to allow people who agree (with either viewpoint) to say so, or even if they don't voice their thoughts aloud, to know they are not alone.
The process of advancing ideas is slow but requires persistence. It doesn't feel as though this particular cause is lost.
My brief response to Wynd by way of a letter to the editor;
Donna Wynd, in Make villains of sole mothers at children's peril (NZ Herald, Jan 7) rebutted my suggestion that children are abused because they are meal tickets, by unnecessarily defending the entire sole parent population. Clearly all sole parents do not abuse or neglect their children. Nor do all beneficiaries.
However NZ research shows that a notification to CYF is almost 4 times more likely to occur in a benefit dependent household. She can access this study, The Benefit Status of Caregivers of Children and Young People Who Come to the Notice of CYPFS, on-line.
Yet Wynd writes, "Abuse and neglect of children cuts across income, class and ethnicity." Yes, instances can be found to support this assertion but the fact remains that the predominance of both occurs in lower socio economic, Maori, welfare-dependent settings. It is this blinkered denial of reality that actually perpetuates abuse.
The Ministry of Health, for instance, does not target Pakeha, middle-class females for smoking reduction despite the fact that some smoke. They focus their efforts and resources where the problem is greatest; among Maori, particularly women and girls. This is more likely to effect an overall reduction in smoking.