Wednesday, August 14, 2013

John Minto on child abuse

John Minto says that Labour needs "a kick up the backside" for not pushing the message that poverty is the "key factor" behind child abuse.

He says there are NEVER any excuses for child abuse but there are REASONS behind it.

Unfortunately reasons becomes excuses very easily.

Can I take you back to just a couple of things that people like John Minto ignore.

Child abuse rates are not high amongst all groups with high poverty rates. In fact they are lower amongst poor Asians.

Household incomes of Maori and Pacific families are growing faster than the median, yet the rate of Maori child abuse is not declining.

And there's another thing that leftists frequently claim. That abuse happens right across society. It isn't just the poor. That's another inconsistency then.

But Minto is angry with Labour for understanding the issue better than he does. He writes:

But the most pathetic aspect of the announcement was the reaction of the Labour Party.

Fresh from the 1980s Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Annette King never mentioned poverty or the causes of child abuse. Here’s how she was report by Fairfax:

'Labour’s acting Social Development spokesperson Annette King said all New Zealanders wanted to see child abuse stopped and National’s proposals provided the opportunity to look at the best ways to do that. “Let’s look at the evidence, hear the experts who work in the field, and let the public have their say. We need to hear the evidence and be assured the proposals will work.”

A number of the proposals were “worthwhile”, including legislating to make Government departments accountable for protecting children as well as screening and vetting processes for Government employees working with children.'
Whether or not I agree with Annette it was refreshing to hear a Labour spokesperson not opposing for the sake of it. If Jacinda Ardern had been available she'd have taken Minto's line no doubt. (And where is she by the way? Sidelined on this issue or out of the country?)


Brendan McNeill said...

Hi Lindsay

This is naturally a very emotive topic, and there is a lot of misinformation and politicisation of the issue which is unhelpful and tends to obscure the facts.

It's good to see you make the point that the great majority of poor people do not abuse their children. This reality tends to be obscured by those who seek to make political capital out of children's suffering.

I suspect that in most cases, the dysfunction that has caused the poverty in child abusers lives, is usually the same dysfunction that creates the abuse. In other words, poverty is a symptom not a cause.

Human failure is the cause, often made worse by substance abuse, emotional brokenness, lack of empathy, and self control on the part of the abuser.

Sadly, abusers usually come from dysfunctional family backgrounds themselves. You would think given this reality that a sane Government would be promoting and supporting two parent functional families as the best remedy for the prevention of child abuse.

But are they?

Anonymous said...

I think Brendan is right. Poverty will not be solved by handing out money to the disfunctional that abuse kids. They are poor because of their attitude and money doesn't reprogram anyone. Some Lotto winners piss it away while others don't and I suspect if you took a look at the home you'd pick which way they'd go in 5 minutes.