Jigsaw Says Changes To The Crimes Act Will Make A Difference

Press Release – Jigsaw Family Services

Child abuse prevention network Jigsaw Family Services says it believes law changes taking effect from today will encourage more people to speak out for children if they know abuse or neglect is taking place.
Child abuse prevention network Jigsaw Family Services says it believes law changes taking effect from today will encourage more people to speak out for children if they know abuse or neglect is taking place.

One of the key changes in the Crimes Amendment Act 2011 is that members of households who witness incidents of abuse or neglect against children will be held to account if they fail to act or seek help.

The lawyer for Chris Kahui, Lorraine Smith, has been quoted today as saying the law change would not reduce the country’s terrible child abuse statistics.

But Jigsaw challenges that thinking.

Chief Executive (Strategic Operations) Liz Kinley says the thing that will make the most difference is that people will now have a legal, as well as a moral obligation to help vulnerable children.

Jigsaw is a strong believer that vulnerable children need adults to speak up for them. It is not acceptable to plead ignorance or to turn a blind eye when a child is being hurt or neglected.

“This law will hopefully provide the impetus some families need to take the step to ask for help,” Liz Kinley says.

“We know also, though, that it’s not always easy to speak up and that to do so may take courage,” she says.

“That’s why it’s important that the public knows where to turn to for help. If they’re worried about contacting Child, Youth and Family or the Police, they could contact a Jigsaw agency or another local community based child and family service for advice.”

A list of Jigsaw agencies is on our website: http://www.jigsaw.org.nz/Site/Regions/default.aspx

For further information contact: Jigsaw Chief Executive (Strategic Operations) Liz Kinley (027 230 3312) or Jigsaw Media and Communications Leigh-Anne Wiig (021 971 195)
www.jigsaw.org.nz

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