Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has welcomed latest child abuse statistics showing that the number of children abused in the year ended June 2014 fell by 2,306 or 12 percent on the previous year.
“Let there be no doubt that our child abuse figures remain appallingly high but it is pleasing to see the numbers going down for the first time in 10 years,” says Mrs Tolley.
During the year to June 2014, 16,289 children had 19,623 findings of abuse substantiated compared to 18,595 children with 22,984 findings of abuse in the previous year.
Of the 146,657 notifications made to Child, Youth and Family in 2014, 54,065 reports required further action involving 43,590 children. This compared to 148,659 notifications in 2013 where 61,877 reports required further action in relation to 48,527 children. A drop of 4,937 children.
In 2014, there were 9,499 children who were emotionally abused, 3,178 children who were physically abused and 1,294 children who were sexually abused. In 2013 the corresponding figures were 11,386 children emotionally abused, 3,181 physically abused and 1,423 sexually abused.
“Good progress is being achieved in implementing the Children’s Action Plan. With 30 specific measures designed to prevent abuse and neglect, it will make a real difference in reducing child abuse in this country.
“New Zealanders are becoming increasingly intolerant of abuse and neglect in their communities, and the more people willing to report their concerns, the better chance we’ll have to keep our children safe and protected.” says Mrs Tolley.
The number of people on benefits is also declining.
Could there be a link between that and the decline in child abuse?