The Paua Palace

My royal blog, life, opinions and me, it’s all about ME.. Right?

And still the children die

Posted by pauaprincess on August 6, 2007

Nia Glassie, died on Friday afternoon. As her Tangi is held in Tokoroa, the debate over her case continues in the media.

Meanwhile an email petition circles the internet calling for stiffer penalties for child abusers. It contains autopsy images used in evidence in court and story of Ngatikaura Ngati, who died in January 2006 as a result of abuse at the hands of his mother Maine Ngati and her partner Teusila Fa’asisila who were convicted of manslaughter. The jury would not convict them of Murder. Why? We have no degree of murder, to be convicted of Murder here, the Crown has to prove Mens Rea, the thought and intention behind an act.

I have the email myself. The images are described in the media as so graphic the Dominion Post couldn’t print them. Actually they are less graphic than the episodes of CSI we are exposed to each week. The images are disturbing, because it isn’t an episode of CSI, they are pictures of a real dead, 3 year old boy, not a patch of his skin is unbruised due to the horrific abuse he suffered. I have uploaded one of the images here, view it at your own discretion.

The judge in the case specifically released the images for the media, so they haven’t been accessed illegally.

Children’s commissioner Dr Cindy Kiro however, finds it abhorrent that an email petition for higher sentencing includes these images. (Story here) She alleges the organizer is further abusing a child abused in life.

I beg to differ

Inspector Richard Middleton, who led the police investigation into Ngatikaura’s death, said circulating the photos could have a positive effect. “The case was very disturbing in view of the amount of violence used against a defenceless three-year-old. Anything that raises awareness and prevents it happening again is great.

The Police deal with this abuse, they see it, they carry it, it’s daily , whereas Dr Kiro who holds a phD in social policy and spent her career working in public health and advocacy for children, prior to becoming commissioner for children, has a more theoretical experience of child abuse. It’s a long time since she was a front line social worker with the old Princess Mary Children’s hospital in Auckland. Perhaps she has forgotten the very basis of her passion to defend children was the experience of seeing bruised and battered children?

As our primary child advocate, perhaps it’s time Dr Kiro got off her rotund derriere and actually did something about child abuse, instead of merely issuing fatuous statements to the media.

How about the media stops seeking the opinions of the theorists, people with degrees and a public face, and actually seek the opinions of actual survivors of child abuse, those who have gone on to rise above their abuse and produce happy, healthy children.

The Government should do the same

And stop protecting the general populace from the sight of horrific abuse. Let us see it, examine it and understand in order to stop it.

We have to stop this from happening. We need to educate clearly, the difference between discipline and abuse. It’s up to everyone, every single person to make this happen. It’s not a matter of legislation, it’s not a matter of poverty. It’s individual self control and morality. It’s about providing agencies the public trust to do the right thing, take the appropriate action, not blanket policies and useless rhetoric.

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23 Responses to “And still the children die”

  1. E.A said

    Absolutely agree. What I want to see is the
    toughest penalty given to anyone who dares
    commit child abuse in any shape or form.
    I would rather cut my own throat than to see
    another one of our children suffer at the hands
    of these animals! What can be done!!!

  2. I don’t know but I do know what is happening now is not working. Perhaps people could leave their ideas here. Who knows? Something good may come of it.

  3. Lita said

    I agree, the photos have generated more awareness and hopefully make more of us feel the shame and DO something about this horrific issue.

    I shall be standing outside at 12:12pm tomorrow in silence and solidarity and in memory of Nia and Ngati and other kids who have suffered so terribly at the hands of those who are meant to love and protect them the most.

    Thanks for the post, and the link to the pic.

  4. Welcome, I just hope people are viewing it for the right reasons.

  5. Kelly said

    Is this part of a general break down of societal values? I don’t know – I certainly don’t know what the answers are for this…
    Maybe if we all had to do parenting classes, have a parenting mentor…. SOMETHING! Maybe have support for when we need it so things don’t get this bad…

    And I’m saying “we” in the general sense – we all need to take responsibility for our actions.

  6. The problem is how do you predict who will abuse children? It’s unfair to say it’s a maori problem, it’s unfair to say it’s an issue of poverty etc etc. Do you force everyone to undergo classes etc? I dunno.

  7. Lee said

    Hi there all 🙂 I dont believe this is a Maori problem, as soon as we do that it gives a pakeha a reason for looking over the fence and going back inside, thinking, its not my problem, its Maoris. Its everyones problem. It starts with personal responsibility and respect. Sadly, we will never see an end to it, someone will always get boozed and over step the mark!
    If people are so upset about child abuse, how come they can pick up the phone and rind SPCA, but not someone about abused children.
    Thanks for listening, I feel better now 🙂

  8. Ppl don’t ring because they are afraid. Afraid of being wrong and causing problems for children, afraid the children will end up in a worse situation and afraid of reprecusions.

  9. […] by pauaprincess on August 25th, 2007 It was silence that killed Nia Glassie in Rotorua and silence that killed Rhys Jones half a world away in England.  The silence of […]

  10. Angel said

    God.God.God.Okay.Deep breath.Hi Angel Im 14 nd currently doing a speech for school about violence towards children.I think its good that you posted the picture of Ngati because at the moment everyone is beating around the bush.Nobody wants to take the blame for child abuse.One minute its a polynesian thing and the next its a maori thing.I think thats bullshit.Its not just a Maori thing or a polynesian thing.No,its a community thing.And us,as a nation, are killing our kids by not speaking out.I understand why people dont.But if somebody knows something & doesnt speak out about it they may as well of delivered the fatal blows.Im not saying that any one person is responsible cause they are not.Its a community thing.Its an attitude.Its a problem & we are ALL responsible.Cause if one person had said something at the time that child may still be alive today.

  11. Hi Angel, I’m glad you are doing a speech about this subject. People have to know what happens in order to stop it. Good luck with your speech.

  12. Stolz said

    Well, some might slap a “racist” label on me, but I’d like to point something out – the Maori culture and its customs are still suffering from trying to integrate traditional Maori culture into European society, and a lot of the time, it doesn’t work. A prime example is Whangai. I believe Whangai, in the right geographical setting, should be and is meant to be a loving family environment, with ‘back-up’ for parents who have a lot on their plate. However, the practise was established back when Maori were living in close-knit tribes, within walking distance, and fathers didn’t get their teenage girlfriends pregnant all the time and then bugger off, leaving them with half a dozen kids who have no reliable father figure. These days Whangai can mean separating (uprooting?) a child from a handful of other siblings and sending them from say, Wellington, to the Far North of New Zealand. Whangai happens frequently within Maori families/communities, and because of the geographical factor, kids fall through the cracks ALL THE TIME. No one knows where they are, or who is looking after them. I read the article below about Nia Glassie’s family and the household of people she came to be living in, and I was appalled. Despite the huge extended biological family she came from, none of them took an interest in her wellbeing, or ‘ratted on’ her mother for mistreating her (or any of her siblings for that matter). http://www.stuff.co.nz/sundaystartimes/4160013a20455.html

    Chris and Cru suffered the same fate – a mother who canoned from partner to partner, having children willy-nilly, and then leaving them alone with men and family who have no love for children. Come on people, bring back some responsibility for the children you give birth to. Fathers, be fathers to your kids, and ladies, how about you practise safe sex until you’re emotionally ready to be responsible mothers?

  13. I agree Stolz, clash of cultures certainly doesn’t help at all, why does it seem that when cultures integrate all the worst sides of each culture bind?

  14. Taylor said

    i agree with what everyone has written, i am 13 years young, and I am in a state of shock. I am a teenager and I cannot imagine my life ending now, so for a child’s life to end when he is still a toddler makes me sick, what kind of a person would kill such a innocent being. and for what ?does that give them a felling of pride or bravery? i have a little sister who is three, and she cries when she falls down, just think of what the killer must of heard when he/she was doing this to a baby, and continued to do it until the death of a young boy. it makes me want to puke. imagine that pain of being beaten until you died, it not an easy task so beat someone to death it must have takes an hour. at the time i am so angry, and i feel powerless, like I cannot do anything to help these people, they were just born into this family and had no choice how they would live there lives, nothing, and they probably would of forgiven the person who did it to them, that is just how clueless and oblivious and well… young they are. and if it were my decision, i would have someone beat the killer until they too just like there’re victim dies a brutal, death.

    if there is any way i can help please e-mail me.
    thank you for reading.

  15. Thanks Taylor, we all help doing what we can, raising awareness, helping those that ask.

  16. Anne said

    I came accross the Nia Glassie story when reading about the Baby ‘P’ case here in the UK. I then found the tragic story of Ngatikaura from there. It just breaks my heart. I cannot imagine what that poor little boy endured, nor what went through his mind. He must have felt so alone, so bewildered, at being plucked from a loving home and put into hell. The pain he felt is just beyond anyones comprehension. The only photo I have seen of his battered little body is the one you supplied. Words fail me. WHY???

    I have a 4yr old son and a 2yr old daughter. I swear I would kill anyone who harmed my babies. that a mother could subject her own child to this abuse is beyond my comprehension. I sincerely believe that ANY act of violence or abuse which ends in the death of a child should automatically incur a verdict of murder. Anyone involved in it, even if they didnt actually strike the child, is just as guilty if they did nothing to stop the violence. And so they should also be charged with murder. What chance does a 3yr old child stand against 2 adults, for Christ sake?!!

    I dont know if you are aware of the Baby ‘P’ case over here, but they didnt get charged with murder either as it couldnt be proved ‘who dealt the killer blow’. They are merely charged with ‘causing or allowing a child to die’. The ones who stay silent and witness the abuse are just as guilty! And its about time the ‘justice’ systems recognised this!

    sorry, this has turned into a bit of an essay. But I have cried buckets over Baby P, Nia, and Ngatikaura. I feel so helpless, angry and so terribly sad that some people are capable of such vile acts of cruelty.

    RIP little Ngatikura. You are in my thoughts for ever. xxx

  17. Susan said

    Sweet Jesus, what is wrong with our kind? The parents need to die by lethal injection and the judge needs to do the 8 1/2 years for his crime of a sentence. With sentences like his for beating a child to death over a two day period, the suffering this baby went through had to have been horrific.. I would say the problem will never go away, EVER! go ahead, beat your kid to death you’ll be out in 4 years (3 hots & a cot). I have never been more disgusted in my entire life.

  18. caitlan said

    I have formed a group at school-it was a school project and we made a flyer, picketting poster, and a slideshow to educate child abuse. I hope you don’t mind me using the photo and the information to put in the flyer. Hopefully, we can go public and help stop child abuse.

    • me said

      no one can stop child abuse and thatas a fact .. no matter how sickening the pictures may be , you know it would never work. .. but that was a very good idea ! 🙂

  19. caitlan said

    Me again, I also wanted to say i am 14, and nearly in tears, and i think that whoever did this deserves the same done to them. I am terribly sad the world has come to beating a 3 year old child to death! I completely agree with Taylor!

  20. me said

    how can anyone do that to a little boy ? sick people ! you should be ASHAMED of yourselves !

  21. Lilyan said

    Stop child abuse now its the worst thing you can do to a child!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Lilyan said

    Sick people shouldn’t be here! every day if they didn’t die we could take them to loveing homes! if you care about stop child abuse,ask your teacher if you can hang up posters.
    and make a team of your own!!!!!!!!!!!

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