Control is the Purpose of the Dole System
3 hours ago
THERE has been a five-fold increase in the number of rape and attempted rape cases in the High Court linked to domestic abuse over the last four years, figures show.Oh bugger it. I will make one more comment. When the policing and justice system operates with a bias, the benefactor can be expected to exploit it.
According to the Crown Office, there were 435 rape or attempted rape cases in the High Court in 2014/15 where domestic abuse was an aggravating factor, compared with 88 in 2010/11.
Prosecutors said the steep rise was due to changes in legislation and an increase in the number of historical crimes being reported.
But charities said Police Scotland’s pro-active approach to tackling domestic abuse was also having an impact.
The number of domestic abuse charges marked for the sheriff court was 31,373 in 2014/15, compared to 20,673 in 2011/12 – an increase of over 50 per cent.
Sandy Brindley, national coordinator for Rape Crisis Scotland, said police had adopted a new tactic of speaking to ex-partners of men being investigated in domestic abuse cases.
"During the year ending June 30, 2015, 3,458 women were asked if they had been subjected to physical abuse in their home.
Every woman presenting at one of the hospital's key high risk areas - emergency department, child health, special care baby unit, medical assessment and planning unit and maternity - was screened unless it was inappropriate to do so because children or a controlling partner were present....every mother was asked at least three times during her pregnancy, again if she gave birth at the hospital, and a Plunket nurse might ask later."
"This paper summarises the findings from a study investigating aspects of single mothers’ experiences of transition and adaptation to living as a single parent in South Australia in the 1990s. The qualitative research traced 36 respondents’ decision making, and the events surrounding their entry into sole parent status and subsequent adaptation.....The women in this study were drawn from the group at highest risk of violence - single women who had previously had a partner. Just over half the sample (55 percent) had ever experienced physical or sexual assault by a former partner and/or other family member. Of the twenty survivors of violent assaults, ten had first been abused in childhood, and eight of these had also experienced violent adult relationships. Of the 29 separated mothers, seventy-two percent nominated violence as the reason their relationship ended....
All respondents had claimed income support at the time they became single mothers.
The research sample was drawn from a range of sources in South Australia including 8 women from a parent community of a primary school in a low socio-economic region of metropolitan Adelaide, 6 clients from a sole parent resource centre, 2 students from Flinders University, 10 referrals from respondents and 10 mothers from Whyalla. Recruitment of respondents was undertaken by a combination of notices at venues which mothers attended, invitation by the researcher and referrals from respondents. Thirty percent of the respondents were aged between 25 and 34, whilst 60 percent were aged between 35 and 45. Just over half the sample had been a single parent for less than five years and 70 percent had one or two children.
The sample was grouped for analysis into mothers who gave birth alone (n=7), mothers who separated from non-violent relationships (n=11) and mothers who separated from violent relationships (n=18).....
The findings from the study highlight the compounding ways in which violence against women and children is a critical factor impacting on the population of single parents in Australia. The National Council of Single Mothers and their Children’s (NCSMC) member organisation in South Australia, Spark Resource Centre, has consistently identified that between seventy and eighty percent of clients presenting at the Centre are survivors of violence. Their presenting problems include poverty, homelessness, being unable to protect themselves or their children from abuse during contact, children’s behavioural problems arising from violence and feelings of rejection and stigma from wider society."
"...we are working to reduce the number of assaults on children. By
2017, we aim to halt the 10-year rise in the number of children experiencing physical
abuse, and reduce the current numbers (2011) by five percent. This is a complicated
area of work and the answers are not simple. Long-term success and sustainability will
"Children’s Teams are one of the tangible ways in which we are integrating our
support for children at risk. They bring together professionals from iwi/Mäori,
health, education, welfare and social service agencies to work with children and
their families.....The Children’s Action Plan Directorate is currently developing the Vulnerable Kids
Information System (ViKI). ViKI will be an essential tool to enable Children’s Teams to
identify, respond to, and reduce child vulnerability. ViKI will be implemented in phases,
with the first phase supporting the Hamilton Children’s Team....There are currently four Children’s Teams which were established in 2013 and 2014.
These are in Rotorua, Whangarei, Horowhenua/Ōtaki and Marlborough. The remaining
sites yet to go live are in Hamilton, Tairawhiti (Gisborne), Eastern Bay of Plenty,
Christchurch, Whanganui and Clendon/Manurewa/Papakura."
"It is not a simple task to manage transformational business change while also managing
the rise in demand for services in the face of rising prices. To add to the complication of
cost pressures, two large programmes of work (Children’s Action Plan (CAP) and Child,
Youth and Family service delivery changes) were funded on a one-off basis."
OPINION: If you lived next door to children living in severe poverty, you would probably do something to help out.
You might, for instance, slip the family a few hundred bucks around Christmas, have them over for dinner occasionally or pay the odd household bill for them.
But living cheek by jowl with the poor doesn't happen to middle NZ very much any more.
The gap has widened and the poor congregate in their enclaves and middle NZ goes some place else.
Street life doesn't bring the classes together.
But we hear about poverty quite a bit because, as an advanced society, we have measures and statistics to monitor how we are treating the most vulnerable.
We have reports like the Child Poverty Monitor which was released this week.
It said 305,000 dependent New Zealanders aged 0-17 were living in income poverty. Using another measure, it reported 220,500 of the same age group were living in "severe poverty".
It generated the usual response of Government bashing, capitalist blaming and gnashing of teeth. John Key scandalised Labour's children's spokeswoman Jacinda Ardern by linking poverty to drug use.
Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei said the Government's refusal to end child poverty was putting children's lives at risk.
And then, as is becoming usual, nothing.
Shouldn't we be shocked and appalled? Why aren't we doing something? What is wrong with us?
The answers are many and various. As a political or even social advocacy tool reports like the Child Poverty Monitor are pretty hopeless.
They cast the net too wide so truly serious poverty is trivialised. They suggest the answers all relate to handing out more money, that easy fix solutions exist. They tell us what we already know. Maori and Polynesian children are over-represented. Really?
They imply children are somehow divorced from their family or community environment.
In addition the numbers don't sound quite right.
Let's take a city in NZ which has a population of say 400,000. About 100,000 will be under 18. Of those, about 29,000, according to the report, are living in "income poverty" and about 21,000 will be in "severe poverty".
That's a lot of kindergartens, primary schools and high schools in a city like Christchurch or Wellington.
And what is income or severe poverty anyway?
Poverty is an emotive term, at least for my generation (I am a youthful 57).
It brings to mind an income on which it is impossible to afford the basic necessities of life. It conjures up images of ragged children, dust bowls, rundown houses, beaten down workers and bleak streets. But being poor is different from living in poverty.
In modern sociological terms poverty has become to mean the inability to participate fully in society or to reach one's full potential.
And don't forget we are not just talking about poverty. It is child poverty.
A child is a small innocent person in my book. When you include 16 and 17 year-olds, you bring young adults into the mix. They are still children, of course, but their childhoods have gone.
We all know why these reports use the word child. A child is blameless and innocent. This gets around the problem of the undeserving poor. These child poverty victims have, by a cruel quirk of fate, ended up being born in the wrong families.
Child poverty is more worthy of a sympathetic ear than old people poverty or single parent poverty. It is innocent poverty.
Then we have those fascinating definitions. Income poverty is defined as 60 per cent of the median income after housing costs are taken into account. Severe poverty is 50 per cent of the median income.
Median income is the point at which half the people receive more and half receive less than the stated amount.
The child monitor report does not say what the median NZ income is but a bit of detective work shows the median NZ income is $621 a week.
It's more complicated however. The median income from wages and salaries is $882 a week ($45,864 pa).
Then we have income from "Government transfers" which is income provided by the state for things like benefits, Working for Families, ACC payments and NZ Superannuation.
The median weekly transfer is $315 a week.
Another reason to be a little wary of the Child Monitor report is that it reports a big change in income poverty from 2013 ( 24 per cent of dependent 0-17 year olds) to 2014 (29 per cent).
What could have happened in just 12 months to plunge another 45,000 children and young adults into income poverty?
We need to be reminded about children living in true hardship. But not everything that reminds us is worthwhile.
Reports like the Child Poverty Monitor are not working.
Everyone knows a low income is only one of a host of factors which make people poor and increasing benefits or allowances will make little difference to the poverty which stems from human frailties, failures or vices.
We need robust measures to give us an accurate picture of who needs help but the figures are starting to seem meaningless.
We have come to doubt them. They don't seem to reflect reality. They lump the poor into one amorphous caste. They make no allowance for the black market economy or the ability to harvest free food.
A lot is already being done to help families in hardship and a lot more needs to be done but these reports don't help at all.
Kiwi singer Tina Cross has teamed up with a police choir for a powerful message against domestic violence.
Joining forces with the Counties Manukau District Commander's Police Choir and teenagers from Otahuhu Blue Light Choir, Cross re-recorded her 2014 song Walk Away as a message of support for women in abusive relationships.
So far this year, 33 people have died from family violence - 16 children, 10 women and 7 men.
A Stuff data investigation has found at least 204 children, aged 0-14, have died as a result of neglect, abuse, or maltreatment in New Zealand since 1992.
Most commonly, they died at the hands of men. Almost three quarters of the killers were family members.
The killers were almost equally likely to be mothers or fathers, accounting for 31 per cent and 29 per cent of cases respectively, where the victim's relationship with the killer was known.
Problem 1: Children who lose contact with their fathers do worse in life.
Problem 2: Single mothers who want to work often struggle with the cost of childcare.
Problem 3: Many non-resident fathers are without meaningful work.
All three of these problems are fairly well established in the research literature. Each also motivates a battery of policy responses, with varying degrees of efficacy. In a recent report on poverty and opportunity from a working group convened by Brookings and the American Enterprise Institute, non-resident fathers received some special attention....So, let’s see…Lots of non-resident fathers are not gainfully employed; single mothers are struggling with childcare cost; and children, especially boys, are suffering from the distance or absence of their father. Here’s an idea: have the fathers look after their children, allowing mothers to get into and stay in work. The savings for the mother would far outweigh child support payments, which could be suspended when the father is providing childcare. What if, rather than squeezing these men for every last nickel, we were to ask them to do childcare instead?
"Child poverty - it's not choice." That's the message that outgoing Children's Commissioner Dr Russell Wills wants to spread through social media in a challenge to Government policy.
Of all people with some form of Corrections history post-1960 that are still under the age of 65 (390,581 people), 28% (or 108,462 people) were receiving a main benefit at 30 June 2013. This compares with approximately 11% of the NZ working-age population as a whole.Actually, I find this level of benefit dependency surprisingly low.
The care of every man's soul belongs to himself. But what if he neglect the care of it? Well what if he neglect the care of his health or his estate, which would more nearly relate to the state. Will the magistrate make a law that he not be poor or sick? Laws provide against injury from others; but not from ourselves. God himself will not save men against their wills.
– Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Religion 
Admit it, the ballot paper is still sitting on the sideboard while you wonder what to do.No it isn't. It's been binned.
One or two of those designs are clearly better than the others.Really? Isn't that a matter of subjective taste? Yet the writer (arrogantly) thinks his or her selection is superior.
... to ignore the ballot paper increases the risk of ending up with a flag we really dislike.
When the Commonwealth leaders gathered at the weekend, very few flags outside their conference venue featured the Union Jack. It is only a matter of time before we remove it from ours. We might not be excited by the alternatives but we need one.Or perhaps we'll be the last with it on the flag. Perhaps Australia should change theirs. Perhaps changing their flag should be made a forcible outcome for the loser of the next Rugby World Cup. That's only as silly as the current process has been.
Statistics show New Zealand has the highest rate of intimate partner violence in the OECD and on average police respond to a family violence incident every five minutes.
"To the childless people of Australia, I want to say, on behalf of this Parliament, thank you for being childless.I suppose the immediate objection is that a "libertarian" senator would not support the state forcing parents to immunise their children. But the state isn't. It is withdrawing other people's money from those who refuse to.
"You work for more years and become more productive than the rest of Australia. You pay thousands and thousands of dollars more tax than other Australians. You get next to no welfare ...
"But you pay when other people get pregnant, you pay when they give birth, you pay when they stay at home to look after their offspring ..." Senator Leyonhjelm said.
The Liberal Democrat said that he was sorry than instead of receiving thanks, Australians without children were "often ignored, pitied, considered strange, or even thought of as irresponsible".
"For your sake, I hope the children you are forced to support don't end up as juvenile delinquents, and I hope that they get immunised so that you don't end up getting sick. Because you'll pay then, too."
Veteran broadcaster Sean Plunket has been axed from RadioLive's morning talkback show – and it is believed he could be replaced by long-time colleague Mark Sainsbury.