Monday, June 16, 2014

The Glenn Inquiry

Find below what I wrote about the Glenn Inquiry just over one year ago.

So it came to pass.

A large majority of submitters were female.

The resounding impression is that the overwhelming problem lies with men.

Oh and the colonist-blaming conveniently pops up.
Māori were once a people who held in high esteem their tamariki (children) and wāhine (women) because of the treasured roles they had in their whānau, hapū (sub-tribe) and iwi (tribe). Nevertheless, colonisation brought with it new ways, including privileging the place of men, which rendered women and children as their possessions (Section 4, p127).
(Interesting to hear what Bill Ralston and David Farrar said to Larry Williams on NewstalkZB here. )

It is grim reading and I don't intend to denigrate the submitters. It's the tenor of the report itself.


June 11 2013

I've been vaguely following the Owen Glenn Inquiry melt-down which the NZ Herald seem particularly pre-occuppied with, providing an almost daily instalment.

What I keep noticing though is the slant on the subject of abuse. For instance in today's Herald editorial:

Like most men, he will be unable to fathom how any self-respecting male can do violence to a woman or child. He knows it should not be happening in his own country. He wants to know why it happens, what the police and social agencies are doing about it, and how it can prevented. So do we all.
Then from another piece by Simon Collins:

 Waikato University psychologist Dr Neville Robertson, who said on Friday that the think-tank hoped to make a collective response by Sunday night, said he told other think-tank members by email yesterday that he used to think it would be possible to end violence against women and children in his lifetime.

This tenor has struck me at other times. Collins describing the recruitment of now resigned head, Ruth Herbert:

Ms Herbert jumped at the chance, and by the time the inquiry was announced in September its focus had broadened from child abuse to include domestic violence - the issue she has campaigned on for much of her life.
"Seventy per cent of the child abuse cases also have domestic violence happening, mostly the father abusing the mother," she explained.

In an earlier editorial not related to the Glenn Inquiry the Herald once again took this position:

 The vast majority of child abuse is perpetrated by men.

In the interests of balance here's a quote from Professor David Fergusson of the long-standing Christchurch Health and Development Study:

 "The proper message is that both gender groups have a capacity for domestic violence [and] women probably perpetrate more assaults on children then men do," Mr Fergusson said.
The ramifications are a public health system that tends to overlook male victims of domestic violence.
One example was White Ribbon Day, which he had been critical of because it focused on female survivors of domestic violence and there was "no comparable day for male victims".
"It is those biases which have been built into our system right the way through it, largely from feminist rhetoric that implies that males are always to blame"

And from Child Matters:

Myth: Most physical abuse is carried out by men, especially fathers.
Reality: Physically abusive acts towards children are just as likely to be carried out by mothers as fathers.

The inquiry is supposed to be officially about All Forms of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence in New Zealand


Anonymous said...

"Oh and the colonist-blaming conveniently pops up."

Yep and bollocks it is too. A read of the Musket Wars and Bible and the Treaty records quite clearly the absolute brutality of Maori to other tribes (and even within their own) that horrified early explorers and missionaries.

While I can't prove it I feel the child abuse that we see in the headlines (the extreme end) does not appear to be a white middle class worker problem. I'd like to be wrong about that.


Anonymous said...

As I've said in various places, the Glenn report was a complete waste of time.

Nowhere was there a mention of one of the biggest factors in poverty and child abuse - the perverse incentives that the welfare system gives. It encourages beneficiaries to have children that they can't afford to support.

As long as that *fact* is continually dodged then nothing will change. Lindsay (or I) could have saved millions and come up with *real* solutions that had a chance of working.

Step 1 - remove all incentives from the welfare system for beneficiaries to have more children.