Review of "She-wolves in Sheep's Clothing"

Review of She-Wolves in Sheep's Clothing…
Archived Article: Trust Newsletter 21/11/10

WolfInSheepsClothes_1.jpg   After reading the article “She- wolves in sheeps’ clothing” by Elizabeth Willmott Harrop a freelance writer based in Christchurch I was very alarmed to add a new statistic to my brain's file - “48% of child abusers are women” in NZ.

How can this possibly be you may be asking yourself (like I did)
but the statistic is real and is supported by the Family Violence Statistics Report by the Families Commission  2009 which highlights that out of the 8,568 perpetrators of child abuse in 2006, 4,105 were women as compared to 4,463 men.

Now if you’re a woman, a mother, an aunty or a grandmother like me (a mother) when I read this I was very saddened to read this as I just never thought mothers who are supposed to be the nurturers of their children would actually go about harming them and at this very high percentage.

Elizabeth Willmott Harrop has conducted detailed research with clear evidence of what is REALLY going on in our Nation when it comes to caring for our children as parents, whether you’re male or female. Enough research has been conducted to further explain the factors and backgrounds to which many of the perpetrators stem from. What else needs to be said? Maybe what should be said is as simply as how the rest of the world see’s us - New Zealand is a Nation that is not only good at rugby but we’re also good at harming and killing our children... well done New Zealanders, take a bow.

Recently, I sat with my 2 year old son’ s Godmother discussing Harrop’s article and I asked her quite simply “what can we as New Zealanders do about the problem of child abuse?” Her response....silence at first and then she said “Well, a lot has been done to date by raising the awareness of the problem in NZ, we now read/hear and about this more in the news”. Ok, not exactly the response I expected but then I threw her a curve ball question and asked her “ What can YOU do as an individual to save our children from dying?” Her response after a few seconds was “I can only assist where necessary if I see a child being mistreated or harmed interfere and take notice of the situation. children safe”.

Now only if someone had applied this point of action when Nia Glassie was being abused so openly in her neigbhourhood and community. Things may have been very different for her.

I want to highlight the desperate need for us as New Zealanders who are quite happy to fight for our foreshores, attack politicians if they spend too much of our tax payers money on supposed work trips with loved ones. Why do I not read or hear in the media of more New Zealanders defending the safety and wellbeing of our children – our most vulnerable children who are unable to be heard unless they are seriously hurt or killed! Those who commit crimes against children particularly child homicide should be locked away for good. For those parents who are charged with such crimes should seriously not be allowed to have more children born into the same violent environment. Government should realise the significance of this statistic that 48% of child abusers are women - ordinary women of this Nation. For many “ factors such as their own history as a victim of abuse, lack of social support networks, poverty and poor educational opportunities have collided to create a parent unable to live up to society’s ideals of the all-nurturing, self- sacrificing mother”.

A good start with our Government could be re- shaping our social policies to better promote the opposite of the factors outlined ie. promoting the need for two parents who are committed to each other in a loving relationship to raise their children, promoting strong and stable families, promoting positive parenting policies.

Have your say, go to our website and send us your comments to the full article of “ She-wolves in sheeps’ clothing” which can be found on our website. Share your ideas of what you could do to make a difference to a child’s life in NZ.

Elizabeth Willmott Harrop is a freelance writer. She is based in Christchurch, New Zealand, and has a Masters Degree in Human Rights and Social Change.To read Elizabeth's full article go to click here.