The rather startling news that 60% of reported cases of child abuse now turn out to be completely unsubsantiated (or “incorrect” according to current jargon) gets a completely different spin in the Dominion Post story below. Presumably Stuart Birks said something meaningful to the reporter about the subject of false allegations, but it didn’t survive the editing process.
Radical femimist insistance that “women and children never lie about abuse” means that false accusations are one of those subjects that mainstream media sometimes prefers to avoid.
In the Wellington and upper South Island region, more than 380 cases of suspected child abuse are waiting to be assigned to a social worker, compared with 260 in September 2003. Of those, 312 were defined as “urgent” and 77 were “low urgent”.
Incorrect reports of child abuse to Child, Youth and Family each month have soared in the past five years… with 899 cases in December 1999, compared with 2370 in December 2004. Incorrect cases are those that are investigated fully but, for whatever reason, no evidence of abuse is found. They now make up about 60 per cent of claims — compared with 45 per cent five years ago.
Ms Angus was not concerned about the growing number of unproved claims, which reflected an increase in overall reporting of child abuse. There had been a 57 per cent increase in notifications in the past three years.
“Child abuse is not acceptable and the message is getting across.”
New Zealand Father and Child Society vice-president Stuart Birks said the figures raised questions about who was reporting child abuse. Allegations of child abuse could be damaging to families and children.