Child MattersFriday 21 September 2012, 11:39AM
Media release from Child Matters
Child Matters says education and awareness can help decrease cases
of child abuse long-term
Hamilton, New Zealand - National child advocacy organisation, Child
Matters, is pleased to see a drop in the number of substantiated
child abuse cases as reported by Child, Youth and Family (CYF) for
the year ending June 2012.
In reports recently released by CYF, the total number of
substantiated cases of child abuse in New Zealand decreased by 559
Child Matters announced earlier this month that it is holding the
second annual Buddy Day on 16 November, which is a public
participation event aimed at raising awareness of child abuse in
our community and the role that every adult has in keeping children
"It certainly is pleasing to see the number of substantiated
cases of child abuse declining over the past year. However,
we mustn't lose sight of the fact that there is still a significant
number children experiencing abuse and neglect. New Zealand
still has one of the highest rates of death by child abuse out of
31 OECD countries. And for every child death, there are thousands
more being neglected and abused physically, sexually and
"When every adult takes responsibility for keeping our children
safe, our society has the potential to make a real difference in
the lives of all children and families affected by abuse,"
explained Amanda Meynell, Academic Services Manager.
Child Matters began Buddy Day last year with the purpose of raising
awareness of the issue of child abuse, so that more people take
action to speak up when they believe a child is in
The main Buddy Day event will take place in Hamilton on 16
November. However Child Matters is providing 'event kits' for
purchase online to allow all New Zealanders to participate in the
awareness day this year.
Buddy Day is focused around life-size cardboard children -
'Buddies' - who are decorated by pupils from schools and child care
centres in the Waikato area prior to the event and then cared for
by adults who look after the Buddies for the day.
The substantiated cases of child abuse in the Waikato region has
decreased from 1806 to 1683. The organisers of Buddy
Day have adjusted their planned number of Buddies to be decorated
and cared for during the 16 November event in Hamilton as a result
of these new numbers released by CYF.
"We will now have 335 Buddies participating in Buddy Day this year,
which represents 20% of the 1683 substantiated cases of child abuse
in our region," said Buddy Day event manager, Janine Evans.
In 2011, 180 Buddies were decorated and cared for, which
represented 10% of last year's substantiated cases.
Hamilton-based people interested in participating in Buddy Day 2012
can now sign up online to either decorate or care for Buddies at
Buddy Day kits will be available for purchase online early October
for people throughout New Zealand interested in participating in
Hamilton-based Gallagher Group is the primary sponsor of Buddy Day
2012, while other sponsors include Longveld Engineering, PSP Ltd,
Verdict Communications, Montana Catering and Convex Plastics.
Buddy Day can be followed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/buddydaynz