Neglect due to drugs greater risk than physical abuse

A Herald investigation of the root causes of child abuse, starting today, finds that schools are more afraid of parents neglecting their children because of drugs and alcohol than they are of direct physical abuse.

“It’s not the black eyes, it’s more children that have had a lack of sleep because there’s been a party going on at home,” said Flaxmere Primary School principal Robyn Isaacson.

Flaxmere doctor Sandra Jessop said mothers often became depressed when their daughters reached puberty because they remembered what happened to them at the same age.

Abuse is often intergenerational. An expert panel on Child, Youth and Family (CYF) found that 53 per cent of parents who were known to CYF from their childhoods were reported to CYF for suspected poor care of their own children before their children turned 5, compared with 15 per cent of parents who were not known to CYF from childhood.

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