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Hardship report highlights daily realities

A new Salvation Army report provides compelling evidence of the Government’s lack of progress in tackling New Zealand’s appalling rates of violence against children, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

“The eighth ‘State of the Nation’ report once again highlights the absence of leadership on vital social issues that have a significant impact on New Zealand children.

“Children continue to be abused at disturbing rates – there was a 40 per cent increase in recorded sexual assaults over the last five years, while there were 2864 – the equivalent of about 143 average primary school classes - recorded assaults on children in just one year.

 “The Government has said time and again that it would make domestic violence, including child abuse, a priority. We’re still waiting to see any evidence of it.

“The Vulnerable Children’s Action Plan was supposed to address some of these issues. However that ignores one of the key determinants of child wellbeing – poverty.

“Tackling the complex issues effecting the most vulnerable should be top of the Government’s agenda.

“That means more investment in our youngest citizens. Without that we will continue to fail them.”