Changing the Culture of Child Abuse

Yet another innocent’s life has been brutally ended at the hands of those who are supposed to love and care for them. Yet again, New Zealanders are asking the question “How do we stop this endemic violence in our country?”

There are many practical things that we must do to stop the violence in homes, so that children are protected and kept safe.  These are discussed widely and many agencies and people do their best to provide practical help and support.  However, we need to do much more as we are not seeing any change to the rate of child abuse in this country.  But I would like to put you today that there are two things in our country that need to change, and in doing so a real difference to the incidence of child abuse in New Zealand will be made.

1.  We need to reinstate a culture where it is okay for babies to be adopted.  It has become normal to expect that every pregnant girl or woman who does not abort will parent their child.  It does not matter how old the mother is, or what the family situation is.  Of course, adoption is not for every girl or woman that finds herself pregnant in less than ideal situations.  There are certainly times when the decision to parent the baby is the right one for everyone involved.  But there are now so many young mums – just children themselves – bringing up babies.  There are babies that are going home to family situations where alcohol, drugs and violence are the norm.  I believe that the option of open adoption should be encouraged, and it should be seen as a choice of real love for the child.  In a small way, adoption has the potential to protect some vulnerable children from violence.

2.  We need to end ALL abortion in this country.  Until we understand that at conception a new human being is created with an immortal soul and has inherent dignity; until our government protects these most innocent of our society, we cannot possibly expect the child abuse in our country to end.  Abortion is the most brutal of murders.  If it is okay to end the life of a child in the womb of its mother (whose responsibility to love, care and protect her child beginning at conception), pro-abortionists should not find the abuse and killing of children after birth so abhorrent.  The only difference between these two acts of violence is that the pre-born child is not seen and cannot be physically kept away from harm unless the mother chooses to protect him/her.  With a child already born, those of us who have a moral conscience are able to step in and physically remove a child from a situation of harm if necessary.

There is a link between abortion and child abuse.  This fact is not widely known by the general public, nor acknowledged by those who promote abortion.  There has been some research into this link and Dr Phillip Ney is a leader in this field.  He has found that there is a link between previous abortions and child abuse.  Some of the factors from a previous abortion that contribute to child abuse include:

  • increased anxiety in pregnancy;
  • hindered bonding;
  • diminished partner support;
  • the child can be devalued;
  • increased depression in the mother.

If we as New Zealanders are truely serious about ending the scourge that is our child abuse problem, then we need to work to end abortion, promote adoption and provide the social support networks and practical help that families need to bring up children well.  We need to see the inherent dignity of each and every individual – born and unborn, and we must not tolerate any killing of innocent life for any reason at any time of the life cycle.

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