The trial against the people who tormented little Nia Glassie finished yesterday.
You'll remember about a year ago I posted about the death of this little girl - killed at the hands of the very people who supposedly cared for her. Her mother was convicted of man slaughter and her boyfriend and his brother of murder. Two other supposed adults in the house were convicted on lesser charges.
New Zealand has an appalling record when it comes to young children. We have the 5th highest child abuse figures in the developed world.
I don't know why. And I guess no one else does because this is one problem we haven't fixed. Every time this happens we get upset and say it must never happen again - but it does.
There do seem to be a few common elements in these cases, but other countries have similar problems.
This was a dysfunctional household. A small child should never have been left there. A few neighbors heard or saw things that they knew were not right and yet no one called the police or authorities.
Cases like this bring out the worst in me. All my tolerance and humanity goes out the window and I just hope that the offenders get picked on in prison so that they get a taste of what it's like when people treat you unkindly and there is no one around who cares enough to stop your tormentor.
That poor little girl was treated appallingly until finally a kick to the head killed her.
It just leaves me feeling so sad and helpless - hell, I'd dob someone in at the drop of hat if I believed they were ill treating a child - but I never see anything.
How do we help these littlies? They're invisible until one day you switch on the television and hear there has been another Nia Glassie or the Kahu twins or ... any New Zealander can recite the list going back.
It saddens me so much to live in a society we're any one of us can treat a helpless child like this.