Bat­tered ba­bies tough

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - KATIE KENNY

There are few sights more disturbing than a child’s body on a mor­tu­ary slab.

De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Craig Scott has sat through plenty of post­mortems in his ca­reer but see­ing a baby wheeled out was the worst. The six-week-old was still wear­ing a nappy and booties.

New Zealand is one of the most dan­ger­ous coun­tries in the de­vel­oped world in which to grow up.

An av­er­age of nine chil­dren each year die of abuse, mal­treat­ment or ne­glect.

With 32 child pro­tec­tion cases opened ev­ery day in New Zealand, they’re part of the job for most de­tec­tives.

Scott agrees the coun­try has a prob­lem but says we’re fac­ing up to it.

It’s easy to get into the ‘‘blame game’’ but it’s not al­ways help­ful.

A ‘‘whole lot of good work be­ing done by a whole lot of agen­cies’’ has led to a re­duc­tion in as­sault-re­lated child hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tions – from 168 in 2000 to 145 in 2014.

New Zealand’s prob­lem of child abuse is in­ex­tri­ca­ble from fam­ily vi­o­lence, he says. A his­tory of fam­ily vi­o­lence is a red flag when it comes to pri­ori­tis­ing a file.

‘‘One of the best pre­dic­tors of the fu­ture is past be­hav­iour. If they’ve been vi­o­lent in the past to their part­ner or their part­ner’s chil­dren that’s prob­a­bly the best risk in­di­ca­tor.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.