“Culture key to stopping child abuse”

by Pete George

That’s the headline, but there’s nothing in the article on Green Paper for Vulnerable Children seminar that expands on the statement. The seminar was at the Hutton Theatre yesterday, sponsored by Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull.

Opening the seminar, Mr Cull said New Zealand’s child abuse rates suggested children were not highly valued.

The green paper contained good suggestions of how to protect children, but the issue was a very broad one, he said.

It was crucial to New Zealand’s future that more was done to protect children, he said.

There is an entrenched culture of violence throughout our society. Changing it is a big challenge, as illustrated by an extended blog discussion yesterday:

“It’s common knowledge that male bonding with children begins and ends with sporting events.”

Wrong, it begins with a sound thrashing and ends with a clip around the ear.

Dim-Post is more of an academic/intellectual blog where violence would seem to be out of place but there was strong defence of joking about violence against children.

It’s very difficult changing a culture like that. There were only a few people supporting child violence jokes as acceptable, but notable was the lack of criticism (apart from me).

Joking about violence, and not challenging it, contributes to the culture of violence we have in our society. It’s not just violent people to blame for violence, non-violent people need to speak out against. Remaining passive is a part of the problem.

There are a lot of people prepared to stand up and speak out against violence and other problems facing Kiwi kids. More required.

Hutton Theatre the venue for a discussion on children’s issues

(Channel 9) The Government has been circulating a ‘green paper’ discussion document on children’s issues, with a host of speakers travelling the country.

Dunedin’s Hutton Theatre was the venue for the Dunedin and Invercargill talks, which were described as ‘robust’, by one of the speakers.

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