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NZ Police: Nearly 50 per cent of children who die as a result of family violence are killed by their mothers

Filed under: Domestic Violence,Gender Politics,Law & Courts — Vman @ 1:31 pm Tue 25th September 2012

NZ Police today released a report summarising the findings of 95 family violence death reviews involving 101 victims between 2004 and 2011.

The report, which did not include all deaths that occurred during that period, found 15 out of 33 child victims were killed by their mums.

Five newborn babies were killed by women who concealed their pregnancies, while six children were killed by their mothers prior to them committing suicide.

The most common cause of death was head trauma. Suffocation or drowning by the mother was also on the list.

The article provides a complete breakdown of relationship violence resulting in death. For NZ this is ground breaking stuff and we need to spread this data far and wide.

Family violence death toll revealed


  1. There is an excellent Summary at the end highlighting the fact.

    Top 15 suspect/victim relationships

    Relationship Suspect / Victim / Number of victims

    Defacto husband / Defacto wife: 11
    Mother / Daughter: 10
    Husband / Wife: 8
    Ex Boyfriend / Ex Girlfriend: 6
    Stepfather / Stepson: 6
    Defacto wife / Defacto husband: 6
    Mother / Son: 5
    Suspect not identified: 4
    Boyfriend / Girlfriend – not living together: 3
    Father / Daughter: 3
    Brother / Brother: 3
    Husband / wife’s new partner: 2
    Stepfather / stepdaughter: 2
    Son / Father: 2
    Stepson / Stepfather: 2

    Comment by Gwahir — Tue 25th September 2012 @ 1:36 pm

  2. The fact that mums kill about 50% of children has been well known for years. It has never for a moment slowed our opposition who insist men cause violence and women and children are the victims. If you have the political clout and government funding to make sure your biased point of view prevails, then it can prevail.

    Nothing new.

    Comment by Bruce Tichbon — Tue 25th September 2012 @ 2:57 pm

  3. What is new, is that the source is from NZ Police and it has been published in a major NZ news paper.

    Here is the report itself:

    The thing to do is get a lot of people to talk about this.
    Call talk back, chat rooms, wherever. Just get people to discuss it.

    Comment by Vman — Tue 25th September 2012 @ 3:27 pm

  4. Anyone care to comment on the statistical validity and reliability given the sample population (101 people as compared to the number of DV deaths in a world population of 7 billion) … anyone good with negative numbers? Nice work, stuff. Did you guys pay him to write this?

    Comment by Wow — Tue 25th September 2012 @ 3:56 pm

  5. Watch out when the feminists in the media, and the feminist movement will twist this round and blame the Male gender for this appalling situation…

    Kind regards John Dutchie…Free at long last from Feminist N.Z

    Comment by johndutchie — Tue 25th September 2012 @ 3:57 pm

  6. at Wow.. is that how feminists and Dv campaigners get their statistics??.. i.e pay someone to make them up??

    It seems mothers commit 3 times the number of parent : child deaths than Fathers do.

    Comment by kirannjiharr — Tue 25th September 2012 @ 4:10 pm

  7. The opening line ‘Nearly 50 per cent of children who die as a result of family violence are killed by their mothers, a police report says.’
    If you take step-parents out of the equation the figures are mothers = 15, fathers = 3 and if you include them it is mothers = 15 (fathers and stepfathers combined) = 9. The wicked stepmother = 0. Father/son = 0.
    (4 deaths shown as unknown) (4 sibling deaths)
    Mothers 15 out of 30 = 50%
    Fathers 3 out of 30 = 10 %
    Female parents 15 out of 30 = 50%
    Male Parents 9 out of 30 = 30%
    If you adopt the position that mothers selecting inappropriate male partners should be equally responsible for the deaths of their children then the issue of child mortality is even more clearly at the feet of mothers but as Bruce says we already knew this.

    Comment by Down Under — Tue 25th September 2012 @ 4:20 pm

  8. You are correct Vman, we should work this one as hard as we can. I will try to do my part.

    However, a report like this alone is not a balance to the well oiled, state funded propaganda machine that attacks the family and men. We need to be a lot more sophisticated than one good report to ever get parental equality and shared parenting in NZ.

    I do compliment the NZ Police. They have dared to publish this report, and state there is no Super Bowl Domestic Violence Syndrome in NZ.

    Comment by Bruce Tichbon — Tue 25th September 2012 @ 4:25 pm

  9. It’s important to remember that this report cannot be used as a statistical summary of family violence deaths. Its first paragraph states:

    This report includes data about family violence deaths that occurred between 2004 and Sept 2011, where a family violence death review was carried out. It does not include all FV deaths that occurred during the period.

    Although the report later emphasizes again that it doesn’t cover all family violence deaths, it seems to be quite careless in describing the data as though they are statistical summaries of family violence deaths.

    Even the claim that

    In 2007 Police introduced a process to review each Family Violence (FV) death.

    seems suspect because the report identified only 9 men as having been killed by female intimate partners over the whole period 2004 to 2011. During just one of those years from 1 June 2009 to 30 May 2010 I closely monitored news articles and found there had been six such homicides with a likelihood of several more for which news reports lacked sufficient information. Here are the articles:

    1. Woman charged over Napier death

    2. Partner charged after man dies of stab wounds

    3. Woman arrested after man shot dead

    4. Woman accused of assault after man’s death

    5. Bail for Gisborne murder accused

    6. Orewa murder accused bailed

    and possibly a few more:

    1. Man’s death after fight sparks homicide enquiry
    2. Head injury caused teen’s death: Police
    3. Rotorua shooting deaths referred to coroner
    4. Flaxmere victim named
    5. Police stonewalled over suspicious death
    6. Man found on footpath after Manukau stabbing
    7. Man dies after fight
    8. Man found dead had head injury
    9. Investigation into youth’s death

    It doesn’t seem realistic that if there were at least 6 and possibly a few more during just one 12-month period that there can have been only 9 throughout the years covered by this study. Something’s very fishy. I think I will send at least the 6 definite articles to the author and ask if they were all included, and if not, why not?

    Does anyone have any idea how I can contact the author Melina Curtis?

    Comment by Hans Laven — Tue 25th September 2012 @ 5:12 pm

  10. @ Hans. Am I right in concluding that what you are saying here in terms of domestic violence is that the child mortality rate is being used to mask the female/male homicide rate in much the same way that youth suicide is used to mask the overwhelming occurrence of male suicide?

    Comment by Down Under — Tue 25th September 2012 @ 5:34 pm

  11. Down Under (#10): No, I don’t think so. I think homicides of men by female intimate partners is being minimized somehow. Perhaps they are only included when trials find women guilty, and those trials tend to be more lenient on female offenders and let them off easily. I don’t know, but what I do know is that the figures of homicides of male partners are unrealistically low.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Tue 25th September 2012 @ 5:56 pm

  12. I don’t doubt or question the quoted statistics.
    However, notice the shift in the media? When men are perpetrators of domestic violence, they should be removed from the homes, and everything done to protect their victims, namely protection orders and an entire national network of anti-violence programmes, refuges, family court processes and associated counselling industries.
    When women commit the violence, there is a quantum shift on the reporting (the news reports I listened to) , that we must identify the indicator points, and provide help to these women – i.e. throw even more money at them, bend over backwards to help them. In other words, everything to minimise the gravity of the violence, and in-effect, to justify it – that it wouldn’t have occurred if we can only do more to assist these female perpetrators deal with whatever the underlying issues are …
    Oh the all-time classic pussy-pass.

    Comment by No Argument Here — Tue 25th September 2012 @ 7:05 pm

  13. What are the Women’s Refuge and Stopping Violence programme mantras?
    – Violence is NEVER OK;
    – The perpetrators must take ALL RESPONSIBILITY for their violence.
    – Victims should not have to flee violence; Perpetrators must be removed; All Protection should be afforded to the victims.
    – Violence against a partner is automatically violence against the children (ie. children witnessing violence are automatically victims). [ergo, are male partners automatically victims of female violence against children].

    I could go on …

    Comment by No Argument Here — Tue 25th September 2012 @ 7:24 pm

  14. Yes, quite right No Argument Here (#12), double standards all the way. However, how can you not doubt the quoted statistics. Check out the linked news articles yourself. It doesn’t add up.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Tue 25th September 2012 @ 7:26 pm

  15. That might be the case (remember, many women-kills-(or harms)-man cases are put down to “I was severely provoked”, “I felt threatened”, “I endured years of psychological abuse” excuses, and hence many woman get off – at least not guilty of murder. So that might explain some of the difference.
    However my point is not with the number of cases. It was with the overall minimisation and justification of cases, especially the 45% of cases of murder of children, the lead headline news this afternoon. Minimisation and justification, you as a psychologist will be all very well aware, are the core agents usually thrown back at man, when he doesn’t simply subscribe to his social re-engineering sentence, aka you are male, you are guilty.

    Comment by No Argument Here — Tue 25th September 2012 @ 7:57 pm

  16. Society’s understanding is going both ways – Good men live in fear
    Note – the author is a lady. Courtesy of Pictureman. Cheers, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Wed 26th September 2012 @ 5:11 am

  17. It is good to see that the NZ Police have released these stats in a way that displays the true reality of family violence incidents. Unfortunately those whom operate, account for and distribute past and current stats put their spin on them to suit their own agenda ( required for sustainable ongoing funding) largely ineffectual as well I may add. Research shows us that in terms of intimate partner violence, that females assaults males in the first instance 50% of the time. My question is why are men not reporting these incidents and secondly are the authorities approaching such reports with the same venom as if it were the other way around. I think on both accounts that firstly men are not reporting it and secondly the police are not taking a hard enough line. Therefore if this to be true what do we men in NZ have to do to change the culture around both issues?? In Australia the stats show that 33% of all domestic violence victims are men. In NZ the figure for male victims is about 6%!!! Are Australian men reporting more are the Aussie Police acting better?? do we NZ men need to follow suit?? Until the policy makers are dealing with the true facts and stats then current policy will remain. The problem here though chaps is that from the Ministries down to the Govt depts and the social service providers that develop,maintain and change policy are all influenced, informed and guided by Universities underpinned by the feminist theory when approaching domestic violence. Men will simply not be effectual until we can influence policy makers and need a voice on a medium as such as Television by someone whom is educated in such matters! Therefore we need to start talking to Universities about gender studies including men(currently gender studies are for women only)secondly we need to have an intelligent and informed voice representing all males and one of which does not see all women as the enemy but to say hey we can help her but you need to engage with us so we can help each other. Because until you get the masculine perspective domestic violence will NEVER be understood and incidents will continue to increase (which they have over the last 10 years.

    Comment by Robbo — Wed 26th September 2012 @ 2:06 pm

  18. White Ribbon’s Brian Gardner was interviewed along with Professor David Fergusson. Prof. Fergusson patiently pointed out why White Ribbon’s campaign was misleading and distracting away from a better informed campaign against DV and child abuse of all forms.

    At present, the interview is available on National Radio’s website, (but will disappear in a few days):

    I found the interview quite painful to listen to. Brian Gardner was saying things which are true, but in my opinion, he is missing the main points. He may wish to narrowly focus onto one part of the problem, but I believe that Prof. Fergusson’s comments were more constructive and socially much safer. It was a horse with blinkers, talking to a horse with uncovered eyes. The interviewer did not try to explore these issues, as Prof. Fergusson was only available for a short time.

    As far as I am concerned, a dead child by suffocation is little different to a child smashed to death. To protect children, we need to address all forms of child destruction, from violent death, to quiet asphyxiation death, to neglect leading to a silently destroyed life. When all of these forms of child destruction are included, then mothers show up as about 80% of perpetrators, but this is not the main point. As Prof. Fergusson said, gender is not the important issue, it is neglected childhood, anti social personality disorder, substance abuse disorder….

    I felt sorry for Brian Gardner. He mentioned that he is a social worker. Years ago, I was fortunate to sit through a few social worker training meetings. All men are rapists, was the most sensible thing said at some of them. Mr. Gardner just sounded as though he had had more of that abuse, than he could handle. I hope that he can get a real job.

    Murray Bacon – passionate axe murderer.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Wed 26th September 2012 @ 4:46 pm

  19. Professor David Ferguson From Canterbury University. They also are doing longitudinal research, and is one of the academics who can be reliably quoted. I like the Analogy, A Horse with Blinkers 🙂

    Comment by Gwahir — Wed 26th September 2012 @ 4:54 pm

  20. Omg! I almost feel sorry for this guy as he has just admitted what most people believed; that the white ribbon campaign stands for “it’s not ok” to be violent towards a woman but it is ok for a woman to be violent.
    The way he shrugs off baby murder as infanticide and thus some lesser important activity shows he has lost the plot.

    Please make sure their page is kept somewhere as they will realize this was a huge mistake….

    Comment by Fathersday — Wed 26th September 2012 @ 9:13 pm

  21. By this guy… I mean Brian Gardner!

    Comment by Fathersday — Wed 26th September 2012 @ 9:14 pm

  22. Brian Gardner,

    His fox terrier had a violence problem, likely reflective of the owners personality, when it tried to bite protesters in Wellington a few years ago.

    Most salient point from Dr Fergusson was that it is clear that gender is not a predictor of violence. Untill ideologues like Gardner realise their ideology is flawed the situation will never change. But that would mean no funding for Gardners approach and if you listen to him its all about the money.

    Comment by Scrap_The_CSA — Wed 26th September 2012 @ 10:19 pm

  23. Scrap, this is an old, old story: “Follow the money”: Deep Throat to Woodward, Washington Post reporter. (Summer and early fall of 1972, President Nixon soon resigns.)

    Mr. Gardner may soon get an opportunity to dry up if his money changes. The financial stringency is assisting Government to re-evaluate many lines of spending. This is a process we must help.

    Cheers, MurrayBacon – axe murderer.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Thu 27th September 2012 @ 8:23 am

  24. Does anyone have any suggestions about how to contact Melina Curtis, the author of the police FV deaths report?

    Comment by Hans Laven — Thu 27th September 2012 @ 11:48 am

  25. The Official Information act applies to the police. The piece has been published by then, therefore her details are public property!

    Comment by Gwahir — Thu 27th September 2012 @ 11:52 am

  26. Research is showing us that Female violence is a growing behavioral problem. It stuns me that the approach to raise awareness around this issue demonstrates that all men are seen as the perpetrator`s and that all women are seen as the victims. All you need to do is look at is the “IT`S NOT OK” campaign. It clearly sends that very message out there to our entire society, by labelling males as negative and aggressive and that females are positive and victims, yet it is not reality at all. This is what is reffered to as labelling theory and in my opinion only makes matters worse for both genders. The “IT`S NOT OK” campaign should clearly deomonstrate thats it`s not ok for anyone to act violently in all its forms regardless of gender. I am an advocate to diminsh violence in all it`s forms and do not support any man thats acts violently toward women, however I feel exactly the same the other way around.I believe that by not addressing female violence that it may actually be giving a licence to commit and encourage violence(whether it be consciously or sub-consciously)by females against other females, males and as we have seen these latest results against infants as well. As far as I am aware the males assaults female carries a penalty within the Justice system that is 4 times greater than general assault. Why is this? Is it possible that the penalities should be the same either way?? Does this constitute instituitional sexism? Then after the event we have to deal with the violence issue and I know that the current programs to solve or decrease domestic violence incidents do not work, in fact domestic violence incidents have risen over the last 10 yrs. Forcing men into group therapy may be fiscally efficient, however socially expensive and fail terribly! Finally the approach and the subsequent programs developed to alieviate domestic violence were intially developed in the USA in the 70`s underpinned by the stories shared of battered women, yet we are attempting to apply these very programs that are
    A/ over 40 years old and
    B/ designed by women using feminist language
    and we wonder why they are not working, I say lets overhaul the current approach and drag it into the 21st century!!!!! then we just may see some effectiveness!

    Comment by robbo — Thu 27th September 2012 @ 12:00 pm

  27. My way is ignore the White ribbon Campaign, and when I I get offered a white ribbon, refuse to accept it! I’m looking for one particular male who last year assured me the focus would change to oppose all family violence, and we would see the change this year. I’ll be reminding him!

    Comment by Gwahir — Thu 27th September 2012 @ 12:07 pm

  28. @ Hans – She is a business analyst employed by the police so asking questions about what information was or wasn’t provided to her may be the only way you will get an answer.

    Comment by Down Under — Thu 27th September 2012 @ 12:33 pm

  29. Robbo (#27): Good points you make. One correction: Male Assaults Female carries twice the maximum penalty (2 years prison) of the comparable offence by a woman, being Common Assault (1 year prison). The offence is actually called

    ‘Assault on a child, or by a male on a female’.

    This is interesting in that it equates a woman to a child. I would have thought that most children will be more vulnerable than adult women in an assault situation and that should be reflected in the penalty.

    Using similar reasoning, the average woman will be more vulnerable than the average man in an assault by an average man, and one might argue that this should be reflected in the penalty. However, gender neutrality is a higher principle to be maintained in the wording and nature of laws.

    Special status and protection for children is considered appropriate and morally acceptable in our laws. However, differences in physical strength between an adult assault offender and adult victim, whether due to gender or other factors, can easily be taken into account by the judge in determining the actual sentence for a particular offence. There is no need for a sexist law.

    It’s incredible that our society goes on tolerating the existing sexism and that feminists whose claimed aim was for equal rights would not also speak against it. Perhaps they meant ‘equal or greater rights for women’.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Thu 27th September 2012 @ 1:20 pm

  30. Dear Hans, I don’t see much difference in a clothed man’s vulnerability to a bullet, or knife, than a clothed woman’s vulnerability?

    Is it nicer for a child, to be:

    1. neglected and mentally abused – without bruises – over 16 years and go on to be socially abused for 55 years, or

    2. to be asphyxiated by a woman in 10 minutes, or

    3. be bashed to death in 2 minutes?

    Bashed to death shows up better in colour newspaper photographs, better for selling newspapers.
    Asphyxiated to death doesn’t even get mentioned, poor women?
    Neglected to wasted life, to death, who remembers the father and mother, when accountability should be taken?

    75 years of wasted life, wasted for society and wasted for the individual, is far and away the most suffering for the child, so I suggest that the responsible mother and father should be remembered…. except that by now they are long dead.

    We can only improve by accepting responsibility, when we can. The irresponsible parents cannot take responsibility, even if they wanted to. Society must act to protect children from all of these scenarios.

    The largest numbers of children suffer from neglect to death. Arguing over man’s or woman’s responsibility can never solve these problems. Responsible people must act to protect all of these children, not just the children violently killed.

    If we want to have fights between men and women, this present psychological abuse – all men are rapists and the like – won’t solve anything. I suggest these fights are better solved by naked mud wrestling, in pubs?

    MurrayBacon – axe murderer.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Thu 27th September 2012 @ 1:57 pm

  31. I see the following analogy. In the Middle east we hear of Israeli SOLDIERS and Palestinian GUNMEN, and in the west, particularly in this country we hear of DOWNTRODDEN and ABUSED women and CONTROLLING AND BULLYING men. The messages are subliminal but become deeply implanted in the collective psyche-so much so that there is rarely ever any true interrogation of the facts.
    If a woman uses the words CONTROLLING , ABUSIVE,THREATENING R BULLYING, she basically hits a home run.The courts and other relevant authorities thereafter rush the “offending” male to the gallows

    Comment by shafted — Thu 27th September 2012 @ 2:58 pm

  32. Sorry Murray, I don’t understand your argument. Also, the laws on Common Assault and Male Assaults Female would not apply in your cases of weapons or homicide; ironically, such more serious violence would be covered by gender-neutral crime definitions. In practice a man is almost always sentenced more harshly than when a comparable offence is committed by a woman, and in the case of guns, knives or murder I agree with you that the genders of the offender and victim will be usually irrelevant.

    However, when it comes to the lesser violence of common assault and size and physical strength played a significant role, I think it appropriate to reflect that imbalance in sentencing. If you use your size and strength advantage to harm someone more vulnerable including someone smaller and weaker due to gender, then that’s an aggravating factor. If an able-bodied person attacked and robbed a pensioner or wheelchair-bound invalid, that’s an aggravating factor too (more so than for an able-bodied adult woman, yet interestingly there’s no law specifically singling out pensioners or cripples). As I previously stated, we don’t need a sexist law to cater for any such aggravating factors.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Thu 27th September 2012 @ 3:19 pm

  33. But I wouldn’t recommend taking on Valerie Adams, and I might not see strength as being an aggravating factor if you did…

    Comment by Hans Laven — Thu 27th September 2012 @ 3:20 pm

  34. Shafted makes an excellent point about the names we use, a jew didn’t have human rights under nazi regime.

    All of the DV argument is over a fairly small number of actual injuries and deaths, which are too readily reported by news media. Cases of child neglect rarely are reported, generally they seem to lack entertainment value to entertainment/profit media.

    By far the largest amount of injuries to children are in the form of neglect, not physical injuries. If our interest is to better protect children from all harm, then the biggest amount of our focus should be on protecting children from emotional neglect.

    The largest single group of perpetrators of child neglect, are mothers, especially (as Professor Fergusson says) they are young, were themselves emotionally neglected, abuse substances (alcohol, drugs), or are depressed.

    Men’s defensive reactions about extreme violence, are distracting the discussion from protecting children from neglect. Neglect causes children more harm than violence. As they grow older, neglect leads to more societal damage than child physical maltreatment.

    Mothers are the main perpetrators of emotional neglect and this is where our searchlight should be focussed 90% of the time.

    At present, mothers are being protected from proper scrutiny, by the mother is always good delusion.
    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Thu 27th September 2012 @ 8:58 pm

  35. Good points Murray (#35).

    Comment by Hans Laven — Thu 27th September 2012 @ 9:27 pm

  36. Witnessing DV Report from Statistics Canada: Witnessing violence aggression and anxiety in young children Kathleen Moss Statistics Canada

    A well written report. However, it is really preliminary in that it was an observational study (non experimental) and was unable to discern confounding of issues. These weaknesses are openly presented in the section Limitations.

    Comment by Murray Bacon — Wed 6th November 2013 @ 7:42 pm

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