Everyone can help with child abuse problem

Child abuse a community responsibility

HAMISH CARDWELL
Last updated 14:09 20/11/2012
Spreading the word
Scott Hammond

Spreading the Word: Alice Parkinson, left, and Carina Dickare given a ribbon to raise awareness about child abuse from Carla Brownie dressed as a parrot. HAMMOND/FAIRFAX NZ

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A woman in a parrot costume "brought a little colour" to an event with a serious message in Blenheim yesterday.

A group of anti-violence organisations set up an information station in Market Place to raise awareness about child abuse in Marlborough.

Social worker Bronwyn Hutcheson said Child Youth and Family in Marlborough had received 1200 calls in the 12 months to June from members of the public reporting potential child abuse or neglect.

Yesterday was international child abuse prevention day and the groups were trying to educate the public and raise awareness of child abuse in the community, she said.

"We are trying to get everyone to take some responsibility for keeping children safe.

"It's about us as a community coming together. It is that old cliche, it takes a village to raise a child.

"Sometimes when the media portrays it, it's like ‘those terrible people out there'. And it stops people from saying, ‘we can do something to help them'."

Real estate agent Alice Parkinson said New Zealand did seem to have a problem with child abuse.

"My old flatmate used to work at Child Youth and Family and she had some real horror stories."

She was surprised at how many calls CYF received concerning child abuse, she said.

"For a small town it is unbelievable."

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- The Marlborough Express

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