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A Grandmother’s Perspective on Family Violence

Filed under: Domestic Violence — JohnPotter @ 9:35 am Tue 25th August 2015

Hi John, after reading through the family violence discussion document today I sent the following email through and thought you and your subscribers might be interested in the subject.
Regards, SanNan.

My recent and current experience regarding my grandchildren has highlighted significant problems with our systems approach to this subject. Specifically the rights and powers to protect children from harm. As a grandparent I have a duty and responsibility to protect my grandchildren from harm caused to them by their parent, however current legislation does not allow me to do so. I have no power to take a child away from the abuser.

After staying in hospital with my 3 month old granddaughter injured by her consistently neglectful mother (who didn’t want to be there) shaking her and screaming at her, I had absolutely no power to prevent the mother taking the child away at discharge time.

The abuse and neglect was reported to hospital staff and Social Workers who then referred the matter to Family Works. The Hospital Social Workers advised that the mother was free to take the child if she wanted to. The harming of this child was not considered to be important enough to be considered urgent and appallingly the mother suffered no consequences for what she had done to the child because – the child had survived and recovered. Therefore the mother was permitted to take the child and everyone ‘hoped’ that it wouldn’t happen again. I was advised that I had no legal right to stop her taking the child. We were told that ‘eventually’ someone from Family Works would make contact with the mother to help her do a better job.

It became very apparent that part of the complacency was due to the fact that it was the mother who harmed the child which apparently is ‘more understandable’. If the abusive parent had been the father, more action would have been taken. Gender bias when it comes to the safety of children is unacceptable.

Placing a child back in the care of their abusive parent without any supervision is unacceptable and denies that child their basic human right to be safe from harm. Babies cannot speak up or defend themselves.

  • The Law and all agencies working in areas regarding child safety, should put the safety and wellbeing of the child BEFORE the rights and wishes of the abusive parent.
  • grandparents should have the legal right and power to remove the child from the abusive parents care until that parent has received counselling and completed an approved parenting programme and anger management programme. Until these programmes are completed and it is proven that the child will be safe, the abusive parent should be permitted supervised access only.
  • shaking a baby is ABUSE
  • pouring ‘boiling’ milk into a babies mouth is ABUSE

These are serious issues that must be addressed.

Our current systems obsession with keeping children with their parents (especially mothers) has gone too far and has caused complacency within the agencies responsible for dealing with these matters. The systems and rules themselves are putting children at further risk.


  1. Thanks for sharing Sannan.

    Comment by Dominic NZ men — Tue 25th August 2015 @ 10:01 am

  2. Only if proof is provided should grandparents have the option to temporarily take thier grandchildren into custody. Too many false allegations of abuse would surface if the grandparent simply wanted the child and hated either parent.

    Comment by too tired — Tue 25th August 2015 @ 10:26 pm

  3. This is nothing new ‘The children have been subjected to emotional and psychological abuse by the mother” CYPS report on file with the family court.

    Result; NO PROBLEM

    1 year later, a dead body hanging in my children’s garage at the mother’s

    Family Court; NO PROBLEM – sad, but NO PROBLEM and to bring it up dad, well that’s a sure sign of CONFLICT, yes from the father.

    As for conflict well, what is worse than a dead body hanging in your child’s garage?

    Answer; Mentioning it, true story.

    NZ Family Court, is there any hope for our children and our child abuse statistics?

    Answer; NO, not until the decent natural father (the protector) is supported, encouraged, and assisted to have a proper reliable and extensive relationship with the children.

    The Perpetrator of abuse, so often mummy’s new boyfriend who needs one qualification to have extensive access to the children – to be “mummy’s new lay” has unchecked access to the children.

    Mean time dad gives up in the NZ Family Court(and who can blame him) mummy’s new boyfriend abuses the children and every one, yes everyone is sorry, so sorry that it just carries on and on. What a bunch of dickheads, a bloody disgrace. What do we do? Quick more protection orders, yes that’s it Temporary Ones, yes issue those on the father, they cost about $6,000 to defend, hat will fix the abuse right?

    Wrong, that will alienate the natural father (the protector) and play into the hands of the abuser, mummy’s new boyfriend, the guy who’s qualification is “banging mummy”

    Comment by paul simonds — Tue 25th August 2015 @ 11:09 pm

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