'A lot of work to do' to tackle child abuse

  • 15/10/2015
Anthea Simcock
Anthea Simcock

Police are continuing to investigate the sudden death of a two-year-old in Invercargill, and in Hastings, a 17-year-old has been charged with an assault in which a little boy has since died in hospital from.

All the while, we're waiting for Child, Youth and Family (CYF) to publish a report due out in December on the matter.

Chief executive of Child Matters, Anthea Simcock, says the death in Invercargill is another 'hideous tragedy".

Although CYF have a lot of work to do, Ms Simcock says the problem of child abuse is everyone’s responsibility.

"[Child, Youth and Family] deal with what they hear about, and they've got to get the information from the people who are closer to the families in the first place, so in a sense we have to start with those people who know about the things that are happening to share that information," she says.

"Before a child is born, there is also signs that they are going to be born into a vulnerable environment so the health professionals, the social service that are around the family, the professionals working with those families, right through from the justice, if there's a probation involvement, through health, through education, have some inkling that that environment will be vulnerable.

"Once the child's born there are people who are seeing maybe there are things here that need to be supported or helped, so those people need to be absolutely confident that they can say hand-on-heart 'I know all the signs, I'm aware of what to look for, I'm aware of what to do'."

Ms Simcock says as a country we still can't "tick that off" and need to continue to work towards making that a reality.

"We've got a lot of work to do there."

Watch the video for the full interview with Anthea Simcock.