Child Abuse an Epidemic in New Zealand

by Darlene Barriere
(Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada)

Three-year-old Nia Glassie has become the poster-child for child abuse in New Zealand.

Nia suffered severe head and abdominal injuries, allegedly inflicted by her step-grandfather and other members of her extended family, after reportedly being hung from a clothesline and spun in a clothes dryer. The toddler died in hospital after being taken off life support. Five people have been charged with assaulting the little girl. Additional charges may stem from her death. It is believed that Nia had been subjected to months of torture-like abuse.

Recently, three minutes of silence was observed in New Zealand, representing Nia's three years of life. It was also intended to symbolize the 12 children who die from child abuse in the country each year.

According to Christine Rankin, CEO of For the Sake of Our Children Trust, 60% of child abuse cases involve Maori, but the Maori people represent only 15% of the population of New Zealand.

My Comments: Blaming the problem on the Maori people is simplistic, amounts to little more than finger-pointing, and does nothing to address what many are calling an epidemic.

The fact is, the Maori people of New Zealand are over-represented in a number of social statistics, including prison populations, poor health and mortality rates, educational under-achievement, and low income.

Socio-economic problems are a huge factor in child abuse statistics. But it's a lack of funding for support and educational services that are at the core of ongoing unchecked child abuse.

A year ago, 3-month-old twins in New Zealand died at the hands of the adults who should have been protecting them. People were outraged. The government representatives said "child abuse is inexcusable".

A year later, nothing has changed.

The New Zealand government must incorporate intervention and prevention strategies that encompass all aspects of society. Support services must be available to victims of child abuse so that the cycle of abuse is broken. There must be programs that teach appropriate parenting skills. Schools must provide a life-skills curriculum for students that include classes on effective parenting and healthy relationships, not just career planning and the 3 R's. Students need to grow up to be productive members of society in all aspects of life.

New Zealand has programs in effect, but too little is being done to ensure that they are brought to the people who so desperately need them.

Until support and educational programs are made available and not just given lip service, abuse rates will continue to rise. Communities will be left in ruin with staggering crime rates, increased drug and alcohol abuse, truancy, and a gravely diminished workforce for the future. The negative impact on communities will not be limited to Maori or any other people of New Zealand; the destructive effects will be catastrophic for the entire country.

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Aug 23, 2007
Don't blame the Maori
by: JWC

I agree that child abuse in New Zealand is not restricted to the Maori population, and that education is key for all classes of people in order to, at the very least, reduce the incidents of abuse.

Keep up the good work of keeping us informed on these issues!

Sep 09, 2008
by: Anonymous

some of the child abuse is caused by parents being to young. maybe if we had more resposible teenagers in New Zealand we may not even have such a big child abuse problem.

Apr 28, 2009
Do not blame the Maori People for child abuse
by: Maurice

I just came accross this and it sickens me for people in New Zealand to lay the child abuse increase on there culture. I journeyed in Wellington New Zealand as a social care worker in a Parish and I certainly got to know many wonderful and great Maori Families in my travels. Yes I came accross abuse but it was a 50/50 ratio of parents who abused. Mostly physical like spanking/canings/beatings in the name of diciplineing their children from very young to older teens male/female. So I think it very unfair to point the finger solely at the Maori people. They are beautiful human beings like our selves and as such naturally they have a percent of their people who abuse. Sadly where Human Nature is there is abuse. Does not justify abuse in any form but this is a sure fact. Education is a must but it must not be used as the reason why people abuse. Abuse is carried out by all levels of people. It is in my understanding the great abuse if so called educated carry it out.

May 26, 2009
face the facts
by: Anonymous

It is essential for the people of our society to begin to step up and face the facts! As a Maori myself, I am ashamed of the statistics we hold. Its true, we do only make up 15% of the population and at the same time make up 60% of the prison population. Sure, statistics are not always spot on, but lets not be oblivious to the problem at hand by forever excusing it. Child abuse in New Zealand is a huge problem within Maori people and something needs to be done about it! We should not have to wait for another Nia Glassey or Kahui case before we finally decide to take some action. Being over politically correct and sensitive to Maori seems to have got us nowhere! There is a taboo against speaking the facts because if we do we are all of sudden 'insensitive' or 'racist'. Lets not continue to be complacent in these issues.

Jul 10, 2009
An intergrated approach by everyone
by: Anonymous

We need in your face programmes that tells parents,caregivers etc.., what an abused child may look like, lets face it, abuse can be hidden. The long term effects of abused children, how can people spot an abused child, what services can support you, if you may be at risk of 'abusing' your children and how we can overcome abuse in our communities by an integrated approach of a one 'stop shop' service combining WINZ, Mental Health, Positive Parenting i.e. Plunket, Barnados, Relationship Services,Health/PHO/DHB, Corrections, CYFS, Housing NZ,Family Planning etc.. Lets get rid of the red tape, too hard basket and get some positive results..

Jul 20, 2009
by: Anonymous

just stop hitting kids man
as a child myself i was hit plenty of times..mostly when my dad was drunk.and it aint just it happens in any race

Jul 21, 2009
''wow'' good on you annonymous abuse is wrong irrespective of colour creed or nation.
by: maurice

The truth has been spoken/written by anonymous. honest, the truth, no society the world over can blame another culture, creed, nation that abuse is greater from nation to nation. Abuse can never be justified because of cultural differences.once a child is molested/abused no matter what form it takes NO human being irrespective of culture can justify his/her abuse of the innocent/vulnerable child/teenager/adolescent/young adult.Anonymous thank you.

Aug 11, 2009
just a suggestion
by: Ann Miller

So we need responsible teenagers? Of course. Lower socio-economic groups are well represented? yes. Maori are over represented. Yes. Who created all these groups, who raised the irresponsible teenagers? Who marginalised Maori?
We did, our parents did, our governments did. They were trotting out the same excuses we are now. The only difference is that the level of horror continues to ascend.

No easy answers here but a sugesstion, get off your butt and do something YOU can do. Guides and Brownies are crying out for leaders - units close in depressed areas. Coach sport, get the kids of the TV and computer and out doing stuff, achieving goals, learning to be useful. If you feel you are qualified to judge these people, maybe your good example is just what we need.

Sep 21, 2009
Sweden and Netherlands
by: Anonymous

These countries are leading in child well being according to OECD, USA and United Kingdom are ranking the lowest out of 21 of the 30 OECD countries, NZ statistics werent included due to insignificant of some of the statistics but finally weren't ranked very high, we are equivalent to Mexico. Maybe us maori's need to look at Sweden and Netherlands for guidance in how to keep our children well kept wish people treat us as individuals instead of putting us all in one basket some of us is trying to break cycles and do right by our children, I know I am.

Oct 15, 2009
by: Anonymous

I too am Maori living in Australia, and I agree it is not just the maori people, this law needs to be put in place all over the world. Our kids are our future doctors, lawyers, nurses etc... without them their is no future.
Maybe someone should look at the cause of the problem, rather than who is causing the problem?Alcohol & Drugs are a huge contribution, although there is no excuse for hitting a child.

Oct 16, 2009
Having a healthy mind in a healthy body is a help all around in Family Life
by: maurice

Irrespective of what part of the Globe one lives, is a Parent/Guardian of childre I believe the above is a great help in Family life. Parents who are health conscious themselves will pass it onto their children at a young age. Out and about in all kinds of weather with other children in team sports gives the child/teeager a respect for their body that lives with them all their lives. Parents us healthy pursuits of their children to relate the beauty of their bodies and the beauty of their sexuality to themselves and their children. Rarely use physical punishment on their children because of such a high respect for their own and their children bodies. The percent of parents and Guardians of children who abuse children rarely have a good eslf esteem of themselves, ignorant to the fact thatb they are wonderful and beautiful in their own right irrespective of the way they were reared. I believe All faith's of religions abuse equally so in all cultures in the world. Abuse is wrong. Very wrong. But we must acknowledge that the greater percet of families/institutions/schools do not use physical or corporal punishment to teach their children respect or they a are naughty from time to time Thankfully most families have found more natural ways of helping their children to grow and mature. This has then an influence in schools and institutions where children and the young are educated for life. Great Darlene you highlighted that it was not only in the maori culture abuse was taking place in New Zealand. The maori people are wonderful and certainly do their best to intergrate their values with those around them. During my time in Wellington NZ I learned this to be the case.

Feb 26, 2010
It's not about race it's about kids
by: Anonymous

If anyone has watched the series "beyond the darklands" where the lives of our countries most serious offender are looked at we can see a repeating pattern in most offenders. In many of these cases the offenders suffered major neglect and various forms of sexual and physical abuse as children. By the time they become teenagers they have become desensitised to any kind of emotion towards other people and have no empathy for others. These people go on to commit horrific crimes (in many cases to the people most closest to them). This is as a result of the abuse they suffered at the hands of those who are meant to love and care for them. So why do we sit back and allow this pattern to keep repeating? I have heard of many cases where children are known to be abused or neglected but are placed back with parents/extended families who are given chance after chance. Often their only interest is the welfare money they get. The most natural thing in the world for most people is to love their kids, to want to protect them and to put their child's needs before their own and this should be the right for every child to receive. Abuse stems from the abusers psychological problems, but unless they acknowledge this and truly want to change and get help there is nothing anyone can do for them. We do however have a collective responsibility to protect all children from abuse, not keep putting them back in the hands of their abusers!!!!

Mar 04, 2010
low life uneducated breed
by: Anonymous

these poor wee souls born into misery and pain by the horrific cruelty of the very people that are suppose to love and unconditionally & care for them.
Educate the low life from very early on ,cyfs get more involved with the at risk families, bring bach plunket visits and paft (parents as first teachers)if that fails sterilize them, pay for them to have their tubes tied ,lets get serious about such horrific stories.No wonder our kids are dealing with depression its uncomprendable that our kids have to hear on the news yet again another poor child has been tortured to death by its whanau...Capitial punishment.

Apr 17, 2010
by: Anonymous

Surviving the effects of child abuse is a life long mission. If we don't do something to protect our children they will be our next statistics. We need well funded people/groups to help heal the poor wee souls so that their lives have meaning and they grow self worth and people need to act when they know that something is happening that isn't right. It is not good enough to stand back and put the blinkers on. Education is extremely important.

May 11, 2010
The solutions simple
by: Shayne

Stop statisticalising everything. "Lies, damn lies and statistics". Every Maori is steriotyped and labeled because some self righteous do gooders and misquided Maori want to put everyone into catagories for health, crime, education, socio-economic standing and just about everything else. The only way to fix it is to stop putting people into catagories so that every individual is treated by the "content of their Character" and not the statistical group to which they belong. Dummies! that is what politicians thrive on. Look what this has done to every disaffected indigenous group in the world Inuit, idigenous Australians, American indians and the list goes on. Can you tell me that a Maori has equal opportunity in the work place when every statistic is saying Maori are dishonest,lazy,violent and kill their kids? Be honest, off course they don't. Put everyone in the same catagorey, then it becomes our problem not just theirs. Simple

May 12, 2010
I could not agree with you more: Good on You:
by: maurice

In most parts of the World all you say Shaynes is in vogue: Statistics seem to govern the mind set as to how people judge their fellow man/woman especially when we catergoise them into special boxes: In our small Nation here in Ireland we too have a great problem educating people of people's rights especailly if they are from a certain group of people I-E single parents, travlllers/Itinerants migrant/emigrant etc etc Ireland is a cosmopolitan Nation NOW: We are still labeling people: Child Abuse was high here and now we have become a drug fested nation which brings all kinds of lableing/violence et attached to such people: The Barons are the new abusers of our society preying on the young once again: The young in turn know no better and are under their control: The Maori People to the best of my knowledge are the most gentle and sensitive of human beings but like any other culture have been given the wrong label simply because a small percent of them do and have done abuse and wrong: All sections of society have that percent which give the rest of us the wrong NAME: Thank you

May 24, 2010
child abuse
by: Anonymous

We have been raising a child abuse girl for 3 years.
Will she ever be well or able to live a normal life?
After all these years I am being to think not.
You don't have a idea how hard it is not to give up on her.
She has been in counseling in one form or another since we had her and as right now she is in her room screaming at the top of her voice because she was told to take a bath.

Jun 01, 2010
by: c wall

its sad that as a nation this is a growing problem, the services that are available are not getting to the right people. As a nationwe need to stand up and say that this is not ok.

Jun 01, 2010
youth not the problem
by: Anonymous

ome smug older parent feels the need to belittle young mothers, i am now 26 and have three children, my first at fourteen, i have never hit my children, i do not shout at them, i have always had my children in my care and i love every moment with them, i do noy understand finger pointing and i do not see how this hel;ps in any way, it is just another form of discrimination, and beleive me young mums have such a battle to fight and come up against so much discrimination, these thouhtless comments come as no surprise. I would like to see these statitics that show young parents are more likely to abuse their children. seriously young mums have such a spotlight on them, there is so much pressure to get it right, if you have so much time to fingerpoint, perhaps some time finding something constructive to do would be a better idea. Have you ever actuaaly talked to a young mum, or is this opinion based on what the public arena has to say.

From Darlene: Anger or hostility doesn't change the facts, Anonymous. You're not only the exception; you're exceptional. Statistics from cases of substantiated abuse repeatedly show that young mothers ARE many times over more likely to abuse their children, in part because they are generally either ill-equipped, or less equipped than mothers who have matured to handle the pressures and responsibilities of motherhood. This statement is most definitely NOT based on what the public arena has to say. Given your skills as a young mother, perhaps you could make a difference in the world by helping to teach at-risk young mothers how to better cope with motherhood.

From Victim to Victory, a memoir
Darlene Barriere
author. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir

Jun 02, 2010
by: bessie & peace

we are doing a school project on child abuse and some of the things we have seen are just terrible. i don't think it's anyone's fault, not just one race, it's the whole nations problem, and only if we work together can we work through it.

From Darlene: WELL SAID!

From Victim to Victory, a memoir
Darlene Barriere
author. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir

Jun 03, 2010
Sadly we need Statistics: How fool proof they are is another question:
by: maurice

Statistic's Statistic's Damn Statistic's: We need them, they are beneficial, They certainly are the only criteria that we can have a honest apraisal of what is happening in our society: How fool proof they are is my question,?? Sadly alot of hidden abuse is happening behind closed doors that that never reaces a statistic stage: This is human society, There are still generations of families feeling the effects of abuse who live with it still because of being brain washed by their parents, their abuser's out of fear, out of a false respect for their families and siblings: This is a world wide problem and is not specific to any particular culture or level of society: The Media can be a hindrance or a great help in highlighting the facts and the statistic's but they too only are aware of the one's who were abused: It saddens me to think that the younger generation of parents, families are a high statistic in this whole area of abuse: I still believe from my own personal experience and knowledge that the Majority of younger parents are the leaders and love and cherish their children even more that they were loved and cherished themselves: It is important to hold a balanced view on statistics and what they tell us anc compare it to the great percent and statistic that still the majority of younger Parents are very loving and respeonsible: I am not going to rear my children the way I was is a winner for me down the years: We all need to be on our guard and to report abuse where we know it is happening around us: Thanks for all the stories and comments especially yours Darlene on Statistic's and what they tell us:

From Darlene: With all due respect, Maurice, perhaps what you're missing in my comments is that when I speak of statistics of "young" mothers, I'm specifically referring to "teenage" mothers. Teen moms are NOT typically prepared for motherhood; and that fact puts their children at much greater risk for abuse. Those are the stats I was citing in my comment June 1 to Anonymous.

From Victim to Victory, a memoir
Darlene Barriere
author. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir

Jun 13, 2010
by: Anonymous

i think its really sad for these people getting
child abuse

Jun 16, 2010
Always open to learning
by: maurice

Young Mothers to me cross a much wider spectrum of age than just teenage mothers: So young mothers to me could be equally ill equipped or prepared for motherhood: Children of such mothers are equally at greater risk too: Darlene Thank You: I accept your clarity of your comment to your stat quoted and referring specifically to teen mothers: A friend of mine many moons ago a mid -wife said she had just delivered a child out of child: A beutiful baby of a fourteen year old mother: That put teen mothers in perspective for me and bears out your clarity of what you wrote in your comment to annonymous on June the 1st. I apprecite your thoughtfulness:

Jun 27, 2010
Dont friken blame the maori people!
by: Anonymous

That is such a stereo type blaming maori

Jun 28, 2010
Blaming a particular ethnic group/culture is not the Answer to abuse
by: maurice

We all know that human Nature crosses a greater divide than colour or creed and every child of such are vunerable to be abused: That is the reality so blaming any culture ain't on: The colour of one's skin or cultureal heritage is as open to abusing the vunerable/innocent child/teenager adolecent as the next human being: Find ways and means where you are at Not to lay blame but to build up wholesome and healthy attitudes to loving and cherishing the children of the worl equally: I can only do it where I am at: Than you'll make the difference: I am certain the original writer of this was challengeing us to think positive: act positive and be positive in preventing abuse around us:

Jun 28, 2010
Maurice and others who have commented...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

If you re-read the article (yes, I wrote it) you'll note that I DO NOT blame the Maori people; in fact, I point toward causes much deeper than ANY people. So please, if you are going to comment on this thread, I ask that you read the entire article and take note of the fact that I, the author of this article, blame no one people; rather, I speak of what must be done in order to deal with this pervasive problem.

From Victim to Victory, a memoir
Darlene Barriere
author. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir

Aug 02, 2010
by: Anonymous

maori arnt the problem white people abuse children too.
dont point fingers at difernt racis,

Aug 10, 2010
child abuse
by: Anonymous

I have read some great comments above, and can see it effects so many people indifferent ways. What I see is a pattern of people saying what should be happening. But what are YOU doing to change and help the proplem? Do you Know who lives in your community? do you know your neighbours?, can you honestly say you would help someone in need, would you go next door to enquire if you heard screaming?. would you put your self out of your confort zone to help someone?
Or would you just write your comments and say its not good enough whats the govenment doing?
Its up to our communitys, neighbours, and self to make a difference.
I can honestly say Im involved within my community, I know my neighbours, I take in children who have being abused and negelected. To me this is the way every human being should be. caring and supportive of all cultures.

Aug 13, 2010
We all carry the weight
by: Anonymous

Every time a child abuse incident surfaces from the media my heart grows heavier. Abuse can happen within any household, however it seems to be a significant problem within our people. To start repairing this social dysfunction and preventing abuse, the connection of contributing factors must be established! It is not in maori culture to abuse, it is a behaviour that has infested a number of maori people and they have spread it through generations because it is a vicous cycle. We need to start digging for why? Is there a connection with other colonized indigenous peoples?

Aug 14, 2010
We all empatise with each other Why? because we care
by: maurice

Reading Anonymous comment I can't but agree, society in general all through the world need to carry the weight of child abuse irrespective of what culture or ethnic groups people are: A human being (child) who is abused no matter what colour their skin should be the concern of everyone in that community and nationality: A baby is a baby out of it's mother womb no matter what; If it ain't loved and cherished then we need to be concerned: Thank you Anonymous; Darlene you still bring out the humanity in us all: Thank YOU

Aug 16, 2010
child abuse
by: Anonymous

Child abuse, like many other forms of abuse, is the effect of lack of control over one's emotions, mainly anger. It is the result of low self esteem,low self-respect and low moral ethics. It is the lack of moral values and ethics in general that we should talk about in New Zealand.Until this subject is discussed and looked upon closer in our children's education, no amount of money from the government would change anything. It is not the matter of race, it is the social culture in general in whole New Zealand that should be scrutinized openly.

Aug 18, 2010

I dont see the point on blaming Moari's because there are a lot more people out there who are not Maori and are abusing their child right now. Give a people a chance and stop trying to point the finger at Maori's.

Aug 27, 2010
by: Anonymous

dont blame maori. its a stereotype. maoris are human beings just like everyone else. there are whites out there that abuse children as well. dont point the finger at the maori because if you actually meet some their really nice people. maoris are blamed for heaps of things thats not even their fault and it annoys me the way some white people treat them.

Aug 30, 2010
by: Ems

We all know it is not only maori that abuse their children, but the stats say 60% of the kids getting beat up are from Maori familys
Most likely a vicious circle of bad parenting followed from their own parents fueled by Alcohol and drugs and the need to make them selves feel like big people
Child abuse is getting worse and it is so sad
Maori are a beautiful Whanau orientated people but the nasty few give Maori a bad name
The stupid people that see this abuse and turn away from helping these babies from getting beat up should also get locked up ,
We as new zealanders have become so self obsorbed with our own lives that, we are now too busy to care, Time to take a stand for these Babies our future generation getting murdered , No more politeness not wanting to offend these offenders , Baby killers ,
The women in these nasty relatio0nships get out there are people that can help

Sep 21, 2010
by: Anonymous


Sep 27, 2010
Blame no one but what the stats say
by: Donna

Yes it is not far to blame anyone or any culture, but why are some people becoming defensive on blaming Maori?? If there are more Maori abusing there children then is that not just a fact instead of blaming? Is it not about trying to help these children to be safe and grow up well adjusted adults? What about compulsory education and parenting courses for first-time mothers??? and yes the majority could do fine without it but there has to be a start from somewhere. It is just a thought but is it better to go on and on about who is to blame or try and fix it. More Maori are prone to certain health diseases, do we moan and blame no, instead there is health policies directed at Maori to educate on healthy eating, check ups etc, and why not if it is that population that needs it the most to help bring the stats down. So i think we should all grow up and own up, and target the area that needs the help. This is about these poor little children suffering in the hands of adults, ADULTS THAT NEED TO BE STOPPED.

Sep 27, 2010
It amazes me still: even in 2010:
by: maurice

Parent/teacher school meeting are so poorly attended by the majority of parents: It is trhe exact same here in Ireland and the time I was in NZ I was involved with a regional school in Wellington 1988 and we had the same difficulty in encourageing Parents to attend: Why? I wonder but then it was always left to the teachers to teach and educate children: It was taken too much for granted that they has such power: And we know now that many abused children physiaclly and sexually in a small number of cases: Again on the odd one or two were sadistic and the put the fear of God into us not to tell: Or if we did our parent's especially fathers would give us a worse hiding: It will take teachers a long time to build up a good relationship with families: It is good that you bring home the leaflets that parents should be discussing with teacher and concerned people regarding safeguarding there children: You are a highly intelligent person mael/female: You sure are doing your part to ensure abuse is highlighted in your family and among your friends family: Peer presure like yours can make the difference: Have the support of your friends in highlighting what you know is importan: Good on you Annonymous: Thank You: Stay Safe: Be Safe: Have a healthy mind in a healthy body: Take part in sporting and cultural activities with your friends and fellow students: There is safety in numbers: Many a child has been saved being abused by the fact that his/her parents knew they were part of the schhol team and doing Physical Education: Bruises are easily seen when one's undresses/shower after games: there is safety in numbers anyway: You make good natural friends who are your team-mates: I will: I can: I must because I am WORTH it: Let this be your motto:

Oct 11, 2010
by: Anonymous

Child abuse is anywhere & everywhere. I dont understand why the fingers are getting pointed at young mothers. When fully grown adults like yourselves are the most capable of child abuse. It doesnt matter whether your young or elderly you's are all capable of childabuse. Instead of sitting on here trying to work out the statistics how about you's do something about it? & correct me ifim wrong but child abuse isnt just based in newzealand. it's all around the world!
If yous are ashamed to be maori , than thats pretty stupid. Because everyone is capable of child abuse.

Oct 23, 2010
I know because I have seen
by: Anonymous

At the age of 6 I was sexually abused by a cousin of mine who was drunk. I was at my aunties house sleeping in the lounge with alll my cousins and my parents were in the garage partying with my my extended whanau. I guess my parents never thought that I would be abused which is why I am very protective of my children.

Having this experience has made me a very open and over the top advocate for children. I do not care who is around me or what they think about me. If someone is imposing any type of abuse on a young child I will open my big mouth and say 'No' or 'Stop' or 'I will ring the Police' and I don't care

Nov 10, 2010
when will it ever end: ?? Child Abuse:??
by: maurice

Irresepctive of where it happens in the world Child/adolecent abuse is WRONG: no colour or creed can be excused from Abusing the innocent: the vunerable: each child/adolecent abuses is effected for a great part of their life: More so where the silent majority just read and hear about it from the Media: Then sit back and do nothing to high-light or stop it: Even in our world around us abuse is happening in all forms: Yet Society tollerates it: We know about the past abuse that went on: We need NOW to acknowledge abuse is still part of our world around us TODAY: Trafficking: Sexual abuse of the innocent and child pornography are very present in every small corner of every nation in the Globe: We need to be wide awake and honest with ourselves: We who were abused know the lasting effects of it on our children and young people even today: Where ignorance and secrecy remain children and adolecents will be abused: Only I (me) can keep it to the fore if I speak my mind about abuse to the relevant authorties who seem helpless at times dealing with the huge problem: Compensating those who were abused is not good enough we muct put in place meaning full programs and counselling for our new abused of today: There are wild beasts (pidophilles) child molesters still alive in our midst: Under ground Child Abuse is rife:

Jan 09, 2011
i give up
by: Anonymous

Paying teenagers to have children while they are still children themselves and/or come from a background of welfare dependancy is criminally reprehensible. This country will be screwed in another 20 years

Jan 09, 2011
I give up: Please don't all human life is precious
by: maurice

Yes, Annonymous from ttime to time I had many such feelings sadly a percent of human nature is rotten to the core: But that percent is small when one's come-pares it to the greatness and good ness of the 90% Yes, I have known many cases here in Ireland where that was the case: But when I actually studied the percent it was very very tiny to al the other teens living in these localites: So Never give up hope in the human being: ABUSE is abuse so that is what we are all concerned about eradicating: We have many disposed migrants here in Ireland and sadly many of them are being trafficked to Ireland agains their will: Young, innocent and vunerable: We must not give up on these especially when they are being pimped by sad sickos of human beings: They have no one to stand up for them if we do not stand up for their dignity and human valeue and reaspect: So please don't ever give up loving from your heart Anonymous; Darlene's site is full of hopefull people who will always stand by the abused and used:

Jan 19, 2011
I agree
by: Anonymous

I agree. Child Abuse as well as any form of family violence occurs in all aspects of life, race. It is not just limited to Maori families. My younger sisters best friend's father had been abusing the mother and children for years and he is a very well to do European New Zealand man, who has a nice job, makes plenty of money and all that. It happens everywhere and it sickens me that something so precious to us as our children are, that they are being taken away in such ways.

Jan 19, 2011
by: Anonymous

I believe that some statistics are misleading. Maori yes make up 15% of the population and yet 60% of the jail population. Since so many out there claim that there are no full blooded Maori left anymore, obviously those Maori in the jail system are mixed race, mixed with European or Australian or Islanders...does it have a statistic that says "Mixed Race Maori and (insert other race here)" that would be a better statistic to see. Because if one is 1/20th Maori, has more European or German in them than Maori, yet they would be classed as Maori, just to add to the statistics because that is what they want us to see, that its all Maori that are bad....if that makes sense

Feb 17, 2011
from nz
by: Anonymous

I'm sorry that so many people misinterpreted Darlene's comments. She did not blame Maori but indicated that socio-economic factors were a major contributor to the situation that leads to child abuse. These factors are mainly due to the colonisation of NZ and the subsequent removal of socio-cultural extended family structures that were in place. As well, as this I wonder about how we value children in NZ. If you look at the comments to the introduction of the anti-smacking bill in 2007 on the Nzherald website you could well draw conclusions that we don't cherish our kids. Some people not being able to smack(not abuse) your own children is undemocratic. Amazing when their is legislation to protect one adult doing this to another. People think it is an effective way to stop behaviour that leads to more troublesome behaviour. Unfortunately, it can led to escalating violence. Where do you draw the line? What is abusive to one is not considered abusive to another. All violence needs to be deemed unacceptable by society. Unfortunately, now our police are under investigation due to covering up (closing)many cases of child abuse when they hadn't been investigated. look at website today. Do we value and respect our kids?

Mar 20, 2011
abuse is still practised the world over
by: maurice

Thanks to Darlene's site: Safe Haven: many have been helped to make new beginniings after having been abused in the 1930's 40's 50's 60's 70's 80's 90's and even today 2011: Abuse is still happening not to the same degree possibily as in the years mentioned: Because Darlene, and many concerned with safeguarding children are making their voices heards: each of us who were abused and know the effects on our lives must be part of ensuring abuse does not happen in the corner of the world we live in: We must let our voices be heard: loud and clear the abuse of the innocent must end: Yet, we know there are many innocent males and females being traficked into the sex worls against their will's: This is the modern day abuse of the innocent: I am certain too there is hidden abuse in many families still: physical discipline is still being used to correct and rear supposedly better children as was in our time in the 1950 and 60's: Let your voices be heard for those innocents victims of abuse:

Apr 18, 2011
What are we going to do,.
by: Anonymous

The stats for the maori are shocking and no it is not just them but lets not be so bloody pc- for 15% of our country to be maori yet 60% of the abuse is caused by maori, that says alot to me. We need to change the way some of that race thinks, get them jobs, decent homes and educated!
I think white men have higher sexual abuse stats then any other race though. That is another issue we need to tackle

From Darlene - Webmaster: With all due respect, Anonymous, this is not about being "pc"; I don't write to be politically correct. I wrote this article 2 1/2 years ago in response to New Zealand's population blaming the Maori people for the epidemic that is child abuse all over the country. I write about the bigger picture, which is what I did in this article. And again, with all due respect, I find myself questioning the validity of your quoted statistics.

From Victim to Victory, a memoir
Darlene Barriere
author. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir

Apr 19, 2011
abuse is still practised the world over
by: maurice

Sadly where greedy, self-centred out of control perverted sick people are the world over will have abuse: Percentage's are a guidelines to inform the general public outside those sicko's who abuse: Stats tell us 2/3 pc of church people have abused: with a higher pc of abuse done by nearest and dearest family members and sadly even during this week here on Darlene's Site I learn of sibling abuse: With all the atrocities going on in the world percenting the awfulness of such is important because I know the greater population are not effected: People are honest human beings be they black/white/brown etc: Makes no difference to me: They are human beings: A beautiful maori baby is knitted together in his/her mothers womb just like a white baby: both mothers feel the pain of child birth: I can't for the life of me understand or fathom why any one would abuse such beautifulness, gentle, innocent vunerable gifted Baby, child, adolecent, Abuse is abuse full stop: I hope the writer of this article means well in wanting to safeguard children irrespective of colour or creed: Abuse is wrong, must be stopped and only YOU/ME can stop it where we live and blossom in the corner pof the world we are planted: Only yesterday I say a baby being rolled by an out of her mind in drugs mother surrounded by equally out of their minds young women: Trying to make sense to them was impossible but that was abuse of that child: equally being abused are these young adults from the time they were children by drug barons: Society in general the world over are doing their best to catch and imprison those sicko's: Those who make money out of beautiful girls/boy teens young adults in the sex world need to be taken out of the equasion too: Darlene sure is a aware of the world wide as well as localized abuses She high-lights through her life, comments here, lecturing, counselling: she's knowledgeable about stat's the world over but her main concern is STOP THE ABUSE OF THE INNOCENT AND THE VUNERABLE Baby/Child/adolecent/young adult irrespective of colur or creed:

May 04, 2011
a wonderfull world ?
by: Anonymous

I am a Canadian born Maori. My parents were good people from two diffrent cultures. I am proud of both of my cultures,but unfortunatly abuse exisited in both of my parents so it is no wonder it was passed on to me. Abuse is passed on through time i believe; a person offending because that is what he was taught by loved and trusted people. It dose not matter what form of abuse you put in this formula, whether its violence, sexual abuse, mental abuse, neglect or substance abuse; we teach our children how to live. At the same time we try to live life. Life is not a gentle journey, sometimes family issues create lifetime disabilities. Family needs to protect family. If human kind saw itself as a family and protected each other what a wonderfull world it would be. When we sit back an point the finger at others we accept abuse. Abuse is not black,white,brown or any other color. It has exsited in our nature from the birth of human kind. We all need to get involved to stop abuse and provide a safe secure and positive enviornment that the future of our race can grow and thrive in.

May 05, 2011
What good news: Constructive and Real truth
by: maurice

Reading the most recent comment It gives me hope as I am certain that all who visit this site with Darlene will concur with these empowering and true sentiments: The truth will set us all free from the effects of abuse and our abusers: We must be on our guard to safe guard the still innocent victims of abuse in our world today: Individually and collectively with all who care, love and cherish the children of our families, our community our Nation equally that we will have an easy conscious to sleep well at night: Thank You Darlene>>Anonymous and all visitors to this vision of hope site: You strengthen my belief and my hope in humanity: All God's children of every creed and kind. Small is beautiful so let us do our small bit to eradicate abuse happening around us: around me

May 05, 2011
don't blame the maori !!!
by: Anonymous

you can't just blame the maori for what's happening,this is going on all around the world so are you going to blame them for that to

May 11, 2011
Maori society
by: Anonymous

From Darlene - Webmaster: Anonymous, and to others who keep focus on the Maori, you are all missing the point. Please read the article again. I will not permit this thread to turn into a place to beat up on the Maori when child abuse is rampant ALL OVER New Zealand.

From Victim to Victory, a memoir
Darlene Barriere
author. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir

May 17, 2011
I had my baby at the age of 15
by: Anonymous

I am Maori myself and I do not believe it is the young teenagers to be blamed for this issue. I am now 19 and have a healthy baby, working and still with my partner. My child is in Kohanga and I believe I have done much better than alot of mothers.
I myself was abused as a child, not only from my parents, but also my grandparents. I asked my nan and koro why I used to get hit and the reason they said is because they did not know any better. This is not a reason to go on and hit people, however I believe it is not also the Maori culture. I have pakeha/english friends who when we were in high school were hit if they even were late to go home, if they did not succeed in school or if they had phonecalls home. Us maori are just very protective of our race and I do believe it is the stress factors that set Maori off. Also parents fighting and arguing does not help. Brings violence round kids and is not a nice look. I am trying to single myself from the rest of the young teenager mothers and stand up for us who get judged. I perform kapahaka and I am strongly grateful I can be apart of this.
From experience I am speaking.....
I am a good mother, a good person and definitely proud to be Maori!

May 17, 2011
Agreeing with the person who stated there are no more full blooded maori! Disagreeing with the statistics!
by: TeArohanui

Maori people have been the butts of our jokes, the unwealthy ones or lke many people would say when I was in highschool "You Horey Maori".
I laugh at those who called me those things because I am dark skinned. I am god damn proud of my race! We are stereotyped to be things we aren't. I lived in Australia when I was 15 and no one there would mess with me because I was a Maori.
I agree how is it the Maori, when I am part European, part Indian. Yet I look Maori so that is what people call me. Do the statistics point the finger at us because we look Maori or we have 1/4 Maori and probably the rest European but if that European hits their kids you are known as a Maori.
Who else can you guys blame ??? The people responsible. Unless you know by experience or you have seen a FULL BLOODED maori hit their kid which is impossible. Keep speaking your lies !! I would like to see real statistics with all cultures in here.
I would like to see how much Maori was in that persons blood who did it!
I would like to know if they were also European!
How harsh for a Maori to read this.
Maori are not only violent people they are also apart of politics. They did discover NewZealand. They are tangata whenua of the land. Go live somewhere else if thats the case. We aren't going nowhere. I would hate to imagine my uncles and auntys reading this!

60% of Maori are in our prisons in NZ??
What as this to do with Child abuse?
These are for other matters aswell such as, Weed , drugs, robbery, drunk driving and other things. Not all for abuse, assault, murder.
Since when was the last time you heard of a maori murdering or anything ??
Good question?
Last time I heard it was a European. The man who gunned down his family. The man who went on a rampage killed 6 people. Point the statistics somewhere else!!!!!!!!!!
Maori are not to blame. Our land gets taken off us. We make room for those who want to come into our country who are different race.

May 17, 2011
Good honest Maori Mom: I admire your courage and the truth
by: maurice

Well done Anonymos Maori Mom: I sure admire your courage and sharing with Darlene and her visitors: Spending some time in New Zealand I can surely agree with you in all you've made clear in your story: I belive also your Nan's answer is and was given to many all over the world: We did not know any better: I sure am convinced now too that many a Mother and Father said I am not going to rearmy children the way I was: Society seems to have found a better way of loving children and cherishing them: Thank You Anonymous Maori Mam: It was great reading after all the other comments so lovingly and truthfully written: Kia Kaha Kia Tua Kia Manawanui Be Brave; Be strong with your Partner Father of your beautiful child loving and cherishing each other in respect and value each others giftednes Love your child birthed healthily and growing in a loving home and family

May 28, 2011
by: Anonymous

why is that we see the physical scars of abuse on these beautiful children after they have lost their lives but those close to them are oblivious to the signs before hand. where are the social/medical/govt guardians of these children and what are they doing???? I am tired of being informed by so called professionals of the obvious signs of both emotional and physical signs to look for yet even they seem blind to their own advise. I have to have a W.O.F to ensure my car is safe to be on the road every 6mths so dont our babies and children deserve the same form of protection.enforced compulsory full medical examinations by a doctor on a regular basis up to a certain age should be given the same form of protection.Maybe this will give parents pause for thought before harming those so vulnerable.

Jun 03, 2011
It starts at home
by: Anonymous

I think it is a good idea to have education programmes in schools which focus on parenting. I think it is even more important to grow up in a household where the role models (parents) reinforce what the young people are learning, otherwise they are receiving very mixed messages

Jun 14, 2011
by: Anonymous

dont blame us MAORI
what is it cause of the colour of our skin?
just cause were black dosen't give you the right to treat us differently to white people and it doesnt make us any different to white people.

Jun 14, 2011
Oh my life !
by: Anonymous

Hey guys I?m a teenager myself, my background is not a great one but I guess heaps of people like to live the fantasy world right...
My child hood was pretty crap straight up, I think that it all depends on what environment we are in or situations we get ourselves involved in, in my culture we do abuse but see heaps of people see it in different ways, but STILL it doesn?t give us the right to abuse the discipline right ?
We can?t be pointing fingers at anyone really, not only does the child need help but also those who abuse the child. SUPPORT is what every single one of us needs and it don?t matter who you are or where your from.
Drugs and alcohol IS a big effect on child abuse. I feel deeply hurt for these innocent people, HELP AND SUPPORT IS ALL WE NEED GUYS !

Jun 30, 2011
oh my life
by: maurice

I could not agree more with you we all need help both the abuser and the abused irrespective of culture or creed; but someone must begin the process by admitting they are abusers so that the abused then can say I was abused: The one who is abused needs the greater help and support because of there innocent and vunerable state they were in when their adult abuser perpertrated the abuse on them: No abuser is to blame: and can never ever blame themselves for thir abusers cruel abuse on them no matter the form: So you are right now try and get help just to put what you wrote into perspective: You are the most important person NOW; so get help and get living your young life to the full: Have a healthy mind in a healthy body: be active be alive even as you admit your live in a crap situation you can make it better for you: Have good friends, stay in education and you'll be fine

Jul 05, 2011
What a crock of S&%T
by: Anonymous

Dont blame Maori, white people do it to! Im sick of all the finger pointing! finger pointing doesnt help save our kids. why are our children dying. Why are they burnt with smokes, beaten with weapons, fractured skulls, internal bleeding, hung on clothes lines and swung round, put in dryers, scalding baths, killed after a drug fulled weekend, left at home starving while parents are partying?? we are not talking about a smack on the bum we are talking about MURDER not bloody manslaughter. Our country is a joke, we need to have a country that has harsher penalties for these crimes, we need to speak out not protect the killers! Oh and i was 16 when i had my 1st child and am part Maori and i have never beaten my children. I would DIE for them, they are our future!

Jul 07, 2011
Raising an abused child
by: Anonymous

To someone on here who said they have the care of an abused child, I did as well. He was a major handful....he is employed now and a very loving do not give up on your girl, she will get there. Love her and give her the help she needs at school and from the professionals who help those children who are abused.

Jul 07, 2011
empowering words for us to work with accept, believe and move on:
by: maurice

The Crock of S**t comment certainly is full of home truths: Reality world in which we all grew up in and now live in: For many of us it was a S**T abuse world we were born into that sure means all colours, all creeds, all of societies world wide: Etnic bac grounds has nothing to do with anything: ABUSE IS ABUSE FULL STOP: The majority of parents spanked.beat their childre from a so called discipline making good the receiever supposeingly: All of us here know the effefts of those years of what ever form abuse was we were put through at the hands of our abuser: Yes in a high percent abuse begot abuse which meant childre/adolecents who were absue continued the wrong, the unreal, the inhuman, So Crock of s**t thank you: Being Maori from my knowledge is no different than being white where abuse is concerned: So pointing the finger at at any particular ethnic group or background is totally unfair, wrong and nevr justified: I lived in Wellington NZ I observed when I heard about abuse in the Maori Culture that a small percent did all the things you mention in your comment Crock of S**t: no different to where I grew up here in Ireland: You are a good mother your are a proud Maori: Good on you: ALAYS BELIEVE IN YOURSELF; You culture is a good Rugby nation with a great history and culture: Don't ever lose it:

Jul 10, 2011
by: drew louise

i feel very sorry for all of those who have died from child abuse

Aug 17, 2011
If only our abuser knew all these years later the wrong in it
by: maurice

Drew I empatise with your paining heart re all those innocents children/adolecents and young adult who have died because of uncontrolled abuse on them leading to their deaths: I feel sorry for all survivers of abuse especially those whose life has ended up in a mess due to lack of proper counselling, caring, real LOVE: Recently I was having a conversation with a female in her forties still suffering from the effects of abuse at the hands of her Father: His belt and instruments are a harsh reminder of the scars left on her mind and body: She's struggling with many issues and the effects of those years being at the mercy of his whims and total physical abuse on her and her siblings: It broke my heart listening but at least she was able to say it was a relief to be able to talk to someone who could empatise with her: She's in Theraphy which is helping but all these years later to be living with such memories: This site I explained to her is a loving, gentle, sensitive, empatising one and Darlene is the gentle educator of her many visitors back to Believeing and knowing there is a life to be lived after whatever form of abuse one endured/suffered: Like my beautiful woman who trusted me with her story there is healing in the telling: Thank you Darlene for you Vision: You have and are giving hpe to all of your visitors and me: I felt so empowered knowing I had the advantage of recalling from your comments ways forward for this woman: New Zealand Africa, Europe it does not matter the epedemic proportions that abuse reached because all the time I see one human child, born beautiful, treated like and even worse than an animal in whatever form of abuse the were forced to live with: The colour of one's skin just covers up some one amazing, beautiful, gentle, sensitive, caring, loving, innocent, vunerable needing to be loved and cherished. hugged, cuddled: Thank you Drew: Thank You Darlene:

Sep 05, 2011
Government action needed now!
by: Anwen

NZ lacks a coherent and supportive system to help ALL parents who are struggling with parenting issues.As a qualified social worker with many years experience with families in crisis,child abuse is often linked to domestic violence,drug and alcohol abuse and poverty,ethnic minorities often suffer more from these disadvantages; support should be targeted at these groups without racism being a issue. Systems for monitoring, reporting and dealing with cases of abuse need tightening, CYFS as it stands is not up to the job and their child protection policies are totally inadequate. More community-based centres, education and support is needed on a country-wide scale.
Come on NZ Government get your act together,its time to prioritize and fund child protection properly!

Sep 07, 2011
Say thank you everyhwhere and always
by: maurice

To Anwen: Great you letting your voice be heard for the voiceless and the abused: Each one of us reading your heart call to the NZ Govenment support you wholeheartedily: You need to surround yourself with your friends and support group to lobby and make your voice heard in the inner sanctuary of Govenment who sit around tables and talk Talk but won't take action and put money where there mouth's are: Good on YOU Anwen: Much thanks on behalf of all abused children/adolecent young people: Always Belive in Yourself:

Sep 07, 2011
Kids must come first
by: Anwen

Sorry I don't have that sort of influence,we're all responsible for ALL the kids in our community and Maori communities have great family and support networks they can draw on,we need to lend a hand to those young mums and folk we can see are having problems parenting their kids.If you think something's wrong,TELL SOMEBODY,teacher,Plunket nurse whoever.Kiwis have to change the culture of not wanting to get involved,a childs life could depend on it,don't turn a blind eye.And that means YOU John Key and all your mates,put some money into providing better services such as mandatory parenting courses to help make child protection a priority.

Sep 22, 2011
by: Anonymous

Although the problem is just not limited to the Maori culture with 40% of other ethnic groups making up the total representation of child abuse in NZ. Surely though it is time for maori to stand up and reliase their is an issue. There is no racisim about it only the fact it is time to face the facts. Their are a large amount of Maori that do not go round bashing their kids and are wonderful people but their is a higher percentage than any other ethnic group that do. It has to stop. It is time we came down hard on child abuse offenders and but in place a serious protection and prevention policy of children in our society. As a developed country the stats are just not good enougth. Maori are also commonly given softer sentences in child abuse cases as the justice system is worried at being labled racists give them what they deserve like every other child abuser!! if i had my way it would be a bullet!

Sep 22, 2011
mandatory parenting courses
by: maurice

Anwen: Yes, we have arrived at such a time for parents to be tutored on how to be parents: Realistically though I am afraid it will be just another Law: Making it Mandatory will read beautifully on paper but alas Human Nature in avery inhuman society won't take a bit of notice: Great a condom world has grown up in the past decades at least that prevents unwanted pregnancies: Again whether it is New Zealand; United States; Europe, Canada, Ireland only in small concerned groups within their own corner of the world can awareness be heighted in safe guarding our Children: Society in todays world is cruel in many other forms of abuse: Young men and women in the sex trade a whole secular humanistic world is out there: Giovenments are undermined and therfore many can't be trusted to govenn or legislate for the good of the society around them: Thankfully Anwen your making a difference a voice for the voice less: Also I still believe, accept that the greater percent of Family Life is the best and real LOVE, Values and respect is evident in here and in all countries: Love; value and respect will be maintained natirally for the humn being from this percent: With a drug ridden percent the percent is growing where they have no regard or respect for themselevs or the for the community around them: Human Life is no longer sacred: shootings, killings etc is weakening the human value for life; Neighbourliness is a thing of the past; trust is a thing of the past Greed has taken over and people a scared about what the future holds: I believe that there is 80 percent of family life that is rearing good families, children and young people will in time create a better world for us all to live and die in the years ahead: Young people are great: The small percent of them give them a bad name: Anwen, blossom where you are planted; for the good of the community you are living in: Small is beautiful and if we all do our little bit we will safeguard our children and adolencents from abuse: LOVE will be the WINNER Not laws:

Nov 04, 2011
New Zealand Laws
by: Anonymous

You know reading all these cases regarding child abuse in New Zealand is a joke the laws has to change I don't believe the sentence you give these people its a joke no wonder why they don't care they take it lightly. Come on really 16 yrs, 3yrs sentence these people or animals took the life of an inocent baby little children that cannot defend them selves and that's all they get and on top of that don't serve a full sentence are you people on crack were is the justice for these children. Please the LAWS got to get tuffer you need stiffer LAWS for child abuse.

Nov 20, 2011
Another disgusting death of a child
by: Concerned grandmother

I am horrified to read of another innocent child lost at the hands of an adult here in New Zealand.When is this going to stop?I believe the laws need to be changed radically to put a stop to this.Firstly the parent or parents of the child need to accept as greater responsibilty for the death of the child as the killer himself, especially as in this latest death, for putting their child into a dangerous homelife situation. Obviously this case,although no one has been charged at the moment is the old scenario of a mother taking in a boyfriend,giving the innocent child a step dad,ending up with the child dying at the hands of the so-called step dad.Now how many times has this happened to our innocent children here in clean,green New Zealand???We as New Zealanders ought to be ashamed of ourselves for letting this continue to happen.Our child protection services need to be given wider powers so as if they feel that a child is in danger in a home,they can immediately remove that child without having to go through a long process of paperwork.The past has shown that a delay could cost the child his or her life.Also the extended families of the child need to be more vigilant about the treatment of the young and innocent within their boundaries,plus the general public need to be also.People need to help protect these little ones in any little way you can.Who cares if you get it wrong,better to be over vigilant than not at all.We need to interfere if we see anything which suggests that a child is being abused in any way.I personally call on grandmothers in New Zealand to help protect our grandchildren.

Apr 11, 2012
by: Anonymous

[I believe we need to] bring back the death penalty!!

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