3News.co.nz is one of many media outlets today carrying the story of an eight year old child who was raped at Oreti Beach, near Invercargill in Southland at 4pm yesterday (2 February) http://www.3news.co.nz/Girl-8-raped-at-Southland-beach/tabid/423/articleID/285453/Default.aspx.
Coming just over a year since the brutal rape of a five year old at a camp site in Turangi we are saddened to hear of another assault on a child in New Zealand in a location where children are usually thought to be safe. Parents must be asking themselves where is safe for their children these days?
Our thoughts are with the girl and her family at this difficult time.
The police have released no details about the nationality of the child and are concentrating their efforts on catching the perpetrator of this vile act.
Discussion on Facebook suggested that the girl’s father caught the alleged perpetrator in the act, which happened in dunes 50 metres from the entrance to the beach. This has yet to be confirmed by the police.
Based on other recent attacks we think her attacker is likely to be a low income male in his youth with gang associations – possibly a gang prospect – with a history of childhood abuse, a dysfunctional family life and a drug user.
Stepfather of four children, 20 year old Jordan Storm Pavlovich, later admitted sexual violation and was sentenced to five and half years in prison. His wife blamed his actions on smoking synthetic cannabis:
After his arrest, her husband admitted to her that he had snuck off into the sandhills at Oreti Beach and smoked two cones of K2, Mrs Pavlovich said…He had also been drinking cans of bourbon and coke…
“I had sent Jordan up into the sandhills to look for my wee boy who was playing up there,” Mrs Pavlovich said.
He returned without finding her son but went back again after seeing a woman and a boy heading into the sandhills, she said.
“I told Jordan to follow them in case my son was playing with their kids.”
About 10 minutes later she heard a woman yelling and saw Jordan walking calmly back to the car, with a spaced-out look on his face, she said.
The husband of the yelling woman accused him of doing something to his daughter, and shoved him, she said.
The police were called and her husband was taken to the police station and later charged with sexual offences to the little girl, Mrs Pavlovich said.
Mrs Pavlovich said she was certain, if her husband was guilty, it was the K2 that transformed him into someone who could hurt an 8-year-old girl.
Pavlovich already had a criminal record and a history of breaching community work orders. At the age of 18 he was convicted and discharged for breaching his community work on January 28 and driving while forbidden on February 17. At 19 he was convicted and discharged for breaching community work on June 20 and 24 in 2011.
In January of last year Dr Kim McGregor, Executive Director of Rape Prevention Education wrote an open letter to John Key. He called for a Task-force on Action on Sexual Violence to be set-up in New Zealand and cited some horrendous child abuse figures. Read the task force’s report and recommendations here.
Far from being a great place to raise kids, the high level of sexual violence in New Zealand impacts 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 8 boys under the age of 16 years. For more about the significant problems of raising children in New Zealand please see our Education and Childrens Issues facts page.
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