Friday, November 16, 2012

No European parents named and shamed?

From yesterday's post about the ethnicity of child killers Joe asks this question:

"Lindsay from your figures why have no european parents ever been named and shamed -as a society is European infanticide acceptable but not for Pacific islanders like Luffely or other brown New Zealanders."
The report I kinked to does not break down the reasons for death but another does.

It reviews family violence child deaths from 2004-2011.

Some cut and paste facts:

33 children were killed by 34 suspects

79% of children were aged three years or under at the time of death

Cause of Death

Head trauma  16
Newborn baby killed by Mother  5
Injuries to body  5
Drowning  3
Suffocation  3
Stab wounds  1
Total  33

 Mothers killed 15 (45%) of the 33 child victims, comprising 10 daughters and 5 sons. 

In  five  cases  the  mother  concealed  her  pregnancy  from  family,  friends  and/or
workmates.  When the baby was born the mother, through act or omission, killed
the baby and disposed of the body.  Three of the mothers were European, one Pacific Island and one Indian.

Murder/suicide. Six children died as a result of (four) mothers who killed their child(ren) and then killed themselves.  Three mothers were European and one was Maori.

In three cases children aged between one and two years of age were drowned
by their mothers; in two of the cases the children drowned in the bath after being left unattended. The mothers were Maori, European and Fijian.

In the remaining two cases of mothers killing children, both victims died as result
of physical assaults to their head and body. Both mothers were Maori.

Stepfathers killed five stepsons and two stepdaughters. In all cases the injuries involved physical assaults resulting in trauma to the head or body.  Five stepfathers were Maori, one was European and one was Cook Island.

Fathers killed two daughters and one son.  Two babies were five weeks and 11 weeks old and died from head trauma.  One child was three years old and died from injuries to her head and body.  Two Maori fathers were aged 18 and 21, while the Tongan father was aged 27.

My guess is that just as suicides aren't necessarily reported, neither are child murder/ suicides. There is no trial. Killing a newborn at birth is more commonly reported but treated (rightly or wrongly) sympathetically. Equally, drowning through neglect might also not make the news. The one case I found from 2010 had name suppression so no clue to ethnicity.

The high profile stories are where children are killed via wilful physical abuse and a trial ensues. Hence, over this period anyway, the predominance of media reporting Maori/Pacific child deaths is because they fall into this category.

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