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Schoolyard attack victim left a recluse

Published: 6:22PM Saturday April 07, 2012 Source: ONE News

There are calls to take violence between girls more seriously after a vicious schoolyard attack left a girl with a broken neck.

Two teenage students have been sentenced to four months' juvenile detention and a year's supervision as a result of the November attack at Flaxmere College in Hastings.

The 14-year-old victim was left with serious spinal injuries from the beating, which was recorded on a cellphone.

"I was trying to run away, but then the person who first starting punching me ended up getting me to the ground and kept punching my face," the victim told Marae Investigates.

While the offenders were this week given a residential sentence the victim has been left a recluse, unable to go to college or play sport.

Her mother says she has been let down by everyone, including her school.

"You don't expect to send your child to school in the morning and then two hours later you're rushing down there because your child's been bashed," said the girl's mother Moana Hawkins.

The author of New Zealand's only study of girl violence says the issue is getting worse.

"It is intensifying, girls are moving it up a notch," said author and anti-violence campaigner Donna Swift.

"And while it used to be something that was the exception - we didn't pay that much attention to it - it's now become more central."

Swift says girls are reflecting the violence they see in the media. She says the Government needs to put more funding into programmes that target females.

"So if we are really serious about identifying and dealing with our child abuse, our family violence, our cycle of violence, then we need to start working with our girls."

Marae Investigates will have more on this story tomorrow morning from 10am on TV ONE.