Free to be Children

MEDIA RELEASE

FREE TO BE CHILDREN: Preventing child sexual abuse in Aotearoa New Zealand

EDITED BY ROBYN SALISBURY

A LANDMARK BOOK WITH A BLUEPRINT FOR COMBATTING NEW ZEALAND’S ALARMING CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE STATISTICS

Childhood in Aotearoa New Zealand ought to be carefree and safe. But too often, children are robbed of those rights by adults who sexually abuse them.

In her powerful book, published by Massey University Press in March, high-profile clinical psychologist Robyn Salisbury shines a light into the darkness of that abuse. How have we let this go on for so long? she asks.

The book brings together experts from a range of fields who offer superb advice on how we can do better.

‘It’s a scary topic that easily overwhelms, so denial is common,’ says Salisbury. ‘Who wants to think about a terrified child being raped? Traditionally there has been a very powerful backlash whenever the issue of child sexual abuse is brought to public attention. We are still far from being open, matter of fact and well-informed about any issue of sexuality. That’s high on the agenda for change!’

Offering a blueprint for change, Salisbury outlines how we, as a nation, might combat CSA. Drawing on her own expertise of more than 30 years in clinical practice, Salisbury also seeks the wisdom of survivors and experts in the field, including Chief Censor David Shanks and Lisa Markwick of Project Restore NZ. Children’s Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft provides an insightful foreword.

Salisbury and her contributors make a major and unique contribution to understanding how we can best tackle the ‘many headed beast’ that is CSA. They take a deep dive into best practice in:
• Sexuality education (including porn and digital literacy)
• Counselling and rehabilitation
• Community education
• Restorative justice
• Prevention initiatives
• Digital blocks.

Free to be Children reveals the latest research and thinking about CSA in Aotearoa New Zealand. It’s essential reading for
caregivers, educators, health professionals, psychologists, counsellors, policy makers and the police. Royalties from the sale of the book will go directly to a fund managed by Te Awa Community Foundation.

ABOUT THE EDITOR
Robyn Salisbury is a registered clinical psychologist and sex therapist with many years’ experience in private practice. Her particular interests are in-depth individual psychotherapy and dealing with issues of sexuality and intimacy with individuals and couples. For many years, as ‘Mrs Salisbury’, she has written a well-known weekly magazine column, focusing on relationship and sexuality. Her practice is based in Palmerston North.

PUBLISHED BY MASSEY UNIVERSITY PRESS, 12 MARCH 2020, RRP $39.99

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