First Annual Report and Balance Sheet of the Society for the Protection of Women and Children.
Whitcombe and Tombs Limited New Zealand: Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin
Society for the Protection of Women and Children.
- Mrs W. A. Evans, M.A.
- Mesdames T. C. Williams and W. Fell.
- Miss L. M. Kscirk.
Hon. Secretary (pro tem.)
- Lady Stout.
- Mesdames C. H. Izard, Baumber, Hannah, T. W. Mackenzie, Hoby, Ewart, A. Campbell, Gibbs, Miss Glasgow, and Captain Waldie, S.A.
- Revd. W. A. Evans, Messrs H. D. Bell, J. W. Aitken, J. R. Blair, and E. Tregear.
E. J. D. Johnson, General Printer, 21 Willis Street Wellington. [P.T.O.
|1.||To prosecute in cases of cruelty, seduction, outrage, or excessive violence to women and children.|
|2.||To give advice and aid to women who have been cruelly treated.|
|3.||To make provision for children in homes when it is found the parents or guardians are unfit persons to have charge of them.|
|4.||To agitate for the improvement of the Statute Laws with a view to the more effectual protection of women and children.|
|5.||To organise Girls' Clubs for social intercourse and mutual improvement.|
The Subscription Fee for membership is fixed at Five Shillings (5s.) per annum, payable yearly or half-yearly, but the Society is always open to receive Donations of any amount.
Donations or Subscriptions in aid of the Society will be thankfully received by the Secretary, and such amounts will be acknowledged upon the Society's printed Receipt forms. Receipts given upon any other forms than these are invalid.
The Secretary will also be glad to hear from any country sympathisers who would be willing to act as an Aid Committee for their district.
The work of an Aid Committee is to collect funds, to assist in carrying on the work, and to report any cases of cruelty, seduction, outrage, or excessive violence to women and children occurring in their district, to the Secretary, when the necessary enquiries will be made (without mentioning name of informant) and the matter placed before the Executive to take whatever steps may be necessary in the case.
Society for Protection of Women and Children.
n presenting to you this our First Annual Report, we I wish to give a short account of the origin of the Society and of the work done during the year. The Society was the outcome of a movement which was inaugurated by the Women's Christian Temperance Union to consider means for the prevention of juvenile depravity, the prevalance of which had been forcibly brought before the public by the revelations made before the Magistrate's Court during September of last year. A meeting of delegates from the various churches in Wellington was held on October 20th to consider the matter, when it was resolved that a Society for the Protection of Women and Children should be formed and called the Wellington Branch of the New Zealand Society for the Protection of Women and Children. Other meetings were held to decide upon rules, and on November 11th your Officers and Committee, with the exception of the paid Secretary, were elected and the rules as printed were adopted.
The real work of the Society, however, can hardly be said to have begun before May, although several cases had been reported and attended to before. The objects and aims of the Society were at first little understood, but after an advertisement had been inserted in the daily papers to the effect that the Hon. page 4 Secretary would be at home on Friday mornings to attend to cases, applications for assistance became numerous, and since then the work has increased so rapidly as to necessitate the appointment of a paid Secretary.
Our record of work for the year shows 78 cases entered in the books and 31 cases in which the Society's assistance and advice were solicited, but which were not exactly within the scope of the Society. In every case, however, advice was given and work was found for some, and others were sent to the Government Bureau and to other organisations which could render the desired assistance.
During the year, the Hon. Secretary has received 133 letters and written 151; in addition to which she has written about 12 letters in connection with adoption cases when secrecy was desired; 148 visits have been received in connection with cases and 90 have been paid by the Secretary, different members of Committee and Mr. Aitken. Eight cases have been brought before the Court by means of the Society, of which 5 have been settled in our favour and 3 are still proceeding. Three illegitimate children have, through the instrumentality of the Society, been adopted with comfortable homes and the mothers who had been obliged to support the children, as the fathers had gone away, have been given a fresh start, which was impossible when they were burdened with the maintenance of children out of small earnings.
|Cases of illegitimate children||17|
|Cruelty and neglect to maintain wife||26|
|Cruelty or neglect of children||26|
|Desertion of wife and family||2|
|Advice and various matters||38|
The Treasurer's Balance Sheet, which will be found appended to this Report, shows that during the past year the receipts from subscriptions and donations have amounted to £84 12s., and the expenses £19 15s. 5d., leaving a balance of £64 16s. 5d. after paying all liabilities. As will be seen, the Balance Sheet has been carefully examined by Mr. Aitken, one of the Trustees.
At the last meeting of Committee it was decided to appoint Mrs. Waters, who had already been the Society's Collector for six page 5 months, as Secretary for a month, the appointment to be confirmed if approved by the incoming Commitee. A room has been secured as an office in the Alliance Chambers, upper Willis Street, where the Secretary will be in attendance on Tuesdays and Fridays between the hours of 10 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. All letters addressed the the "Secretary, S. P. W. & C., Alliance Chambers," will receive immediate attention.
Considerable attention has been given by the Society to the urgent need of some means of preventing young girls from parading the streets during the evenings, the evil results of which are evident to all those who are interested in social work. In almost all the cases of seduction which have come before the Society the girls assert that walking out at nights has led to their ruin. Further means are urgently required for ensuring the punishment of the seducers. At present girls shrink from signing warrants for the arrest of the men as the cases have to be heard in open Court, and before the usual degraded class which frequents the Courts to listen to the painful details of such cases. If in cases of this kind the evidence could be taken with closed doors there would be much more chance of the deserved punishment being meted out to the seducers, and the numbers of such cases would, we feel sure, undoubtedly be lessened.
The Society being as yet in its infancy, your Committee was new to the work which has come before it, and has, therefore, been unable to enter into the question of legislation, the necessity for which has become apparent in dealing with both affiliation cases and maintenance cases against husbands. Some reform is urgently required in the law, which would make it possible to enforce maintenance orders. At present the man can drink all his earnings and then be sent to gaol if he does not obey the order. If a lien could be put upon the man's wages, and the money handed over by the master to the Court to meet the orders, some improvement might take place in the homes of those who are now living in destitution and are becoming a burden upon the Charitable Aid of the Colony.
In conclusion, your Committee desires to record their gratitude for the assistance which has been given to them by the Police, the Charitable Aid Board, the Salvation Army, the Alexandra Home Committee, the Ladies' Christian Association, the Alliance Sewing Society and others who have sent material and clothing for destitute children. It would also give hearty thanks to the Solicitors who have undertaken cases, and to Dr. Chappie, who has acted as Hon. Physician and has rendered prompt attention in urgent cases.page 6
Your Committee also desires to thank the proprietors of the Evening Post and New Zealand Times for their courtesy and assistance, and the public who have so liberally responded to the call for subscriptions.
We hope that the record of this our first year of work, which has been undertaken and accomplished under the difficulties incidental to a new movement, will merit such confidence as will result in an increased number of subscriptions and donations, and that the public will manifest in every way possible their interest in a Society which has already proved the necessity for its existence.
The following are a few typical cases of the work done during the year:—
Is that of a child 13 months old who was boarded out with a woman and was treated with great cruelty and neglect. An information was laid, which resulted in the woman being convicted and fined £10 and costs, or two months imprisonment.
Is a case of seduction in which the father of the child left the girl destitute, but was brought back and sued for maintenance and expenses and was ordered by the Court to pay 7s. 6d. maintenance and £4 10s. for expenses and the costs of action.
In this case information was received from Greytown that a young girl who was in trouble had come to Wellington and was quite friendless. The Secretary advertised for the girl who called, but, as she could not be induced to go to the Alexandra Home, the Society secured medical attendance and the loan of the Ladies' Church Association bag. The young man signed a paper acknowledging parentage, promising to pay £5 for expenses and 5s. per week maintenance of child. Arrangements were made by which the child was sent to the girl's mother. The girl is now in a situation and doing well and reporting herself regularly. The Secretary has received a letter of thanks from the girl's mother acknowledging the kindness of the Society.
Is a case in which a woman complained that her husband had treated her cruelly and turned her and two young children out at night. Investigations proved that both husband and wife drank and the woman also took drugs. The man promised page 7 to treat the woman better, so the separation and maintenance case was withdrawn. This is a very difficult case as the woman's conduct was not satisfactory, but she has improved very much as a result of the Society's advice and attention.
Is a case in which a woman wished assistance in obtaining a separation order against her husband who was an habitual drunkard and ill treated and neglected both her and four children. An order was obtained and the woman helped to obtain work and assisted in other ways.
Is a case in which a child was reported to be suffering from a severe burn which had been neglected. Investigations proved that the neglect was unintentional and owing to the poverty and ignorance of the mother. The child was sent to the Hospital for proper treatment.
This is a case in which respectable educated people had a girl of 11 years of age sleeping in a room with boys of 16 and 14. The mother acknowledged the danger, and remedied the matter at once.
Is a case of a woman who was deserted by her husband and had an illegitimate child 15 months old. The woman, being ill, was sent to the Hospital, and when convalescent was induced to return to her brother's house. The father of the illegitimate child made a private agreement to pay 10s. per week for the child's maintenance, which he has done regularly. The woman is now working four days a week, and able to maintain herself respectably. Her husband has been summoned for maintenance of his children, but the case is still undecided as the man has not turned up.
Is a case in which a woman applied for advice as to adopting a boy of 10 years who had been left an orphan, but said that she could not clothe him. By Society's intervention and assistance the Ladies' Christian Association agreed to clothe the boy, thus giving him the chance of a good home.
Is a case of a young girl who came from Napier to hide her shame, and applied for advice as to lodgings. Lodgings were page 8 found for her, and she has been visited regularly and will be looked after. She is not in need of pecuniary assistance, as she has money to pay all expenses.
This case presents a brighter aspect than any which has come before the Society. A young man who had advertised to get his illegitimate child adopted, but who suspected mercenary motives in those who had replied, asked advice of the Society. He was quite willing and anxious to do his duty to both mother and child, but would not marry the girl owing to her untidy habits, which he had observed during a week's visit she had paid to his mother. He now pays maintenance of child regularly, even sending a stamped addressed envelope for receipt. The girl is in a situation and is doing well, and as she realises her defects, and is endeavouring to improve, it is not improbable that a marriage may come about in time.
Is a case of a young man who had agreed to pay for maintenance of his child but was in arrears for seven months. A letter was written to him which resulted in a reply enclosing £4 10s. and a promise to pay the balance owing and regular maintenance in future.
Is a case of a boy whose parents were disreputable and who was left with a woman who applied for assistance in clothing and obtaining employment for him. Though he was 13 years of age he had not passed the second standard owing to neglect. He had been in Stoke school but had been taken out by his parents. A situation was found for him, but as he did not attend regularly and also played truant and slept out at nights it was decided to recommend that he be sent back to Stoke school, which was done by the Education Department.
Numbers of similar cases have come before the Society and have been attended to with good results. These cases will give an idea of the work that the Society is doing and will show that it certainly justifies its existence.
Subscriptions and Donations.
|Mr. H. D. Bell||10||0||0|
|Mr. and Miss Pearce||3||3||0|
|Mr. A Campbell||1||1||0|
|Mrs T.C. Williams||1||1||0|
|Sir Robert Stout||1||1||0|
|Mrs. H. Rawson||1||1||0|
|Dresden Piano Company||1||1||0|
|Mr. C. Smith||1||1||0|
|Mr. C. Johnston||1||0||0|
|Mis Jas. McLellan||1||0||0|
|Mr. J. R. Blair||1||0||0|
|Messrs. D. Anderson & Son||1||0||0|
|Mr. H. Field||0||10||6|
|Messrs. George & Kersley||0||10||6|
|Mrs. A. Campbell||0||10||0|
|Rev. C. and Mrs. Murray||0||10||0|
|Mr. and Mrs. Jas. Smith||0||10||0|
|Messrs. Warnock & Adkin||0||10||0|
|Messrs. Veitch & Allen||0||10||0|
|Mr. E. Anderson||0||10||0|
|Mrs. J. H. Firth||0||10||0|
|Messrs. Mackay, Logan & Caldwell||0||10||0|
|Mrs. J. E. Fitzgerald||0||5||0|
|Mrs. Percy Smith||0||5||0|
|Mr. J. P. Campbell||0||5||0|
|Hon. J. T. Peacock||0||5||0|
|Rev. W. Baumber||0||5||0|
|Mrs. W. C. Fitzgerald||0||5||0|
|Mrs. L. Blundell||0||5||0|
|Mrs. N. Reid||0||5||0|
|Mrs. A. Brandon||0||5||0|
|Mrs. D. Anderson||0||5||0|
|Mrs. N. Blundell||0||5||0|
|Mrs. J. R. Blair||0||5||0|
|Mr. Coleman Phiilips||0||5||0|
|Union Clothing Company||0||5||0page 10|
|Mr. H. Blundell||0||5||0|
|Mr. W. C. Fitzgerald||0||5||0|
|Mr. W. E. Hall||0||5||0|
|Messrs. Thompson Bros.||0||5||0|
|Mr. W. Ferguson||0||5||0|
|Mrs. W. Ferguson||0||5||0|
|Mrs. A. Anderson||0||5||0|
|Mr. J. E. Evans||0||5||0|
|Mrs. J. H. Williamson, Jun||0||5||0|
|Mr. G. Linley||0||5||0|
|Mr. C. D. Fox||0||5||0|
|Messrs. Smith & Smith||0||5||0|
|Messrs. Campbell & Crust||0||5||0|
|Messrs. Bannatyne & Co.||0||5||0|
|Mr. J. McGowan||0||5||0|
|Miss L. M. Kirk||0||5||0|
|Mrs. W. Pharazyn||0||5||0|
|Miss K. Wilson||0||2||6|
|Mrs. Jas. Brown||0||2||6|
|Mr W. King||0||2||6|
|Mr. J. B. Hey wood||0||2||6|
|Mr. J. A. Martin||0||2||6|
|Mr. J. F. Sutherland||0||2||6|
|Mr. Ron aid son||0||2||6|
|Mr. W. Packer||0||2||6|
|Mr. C. Brien||0||2||6|
|Mr. J. W. Henderson||0||2||6|
|Messrs. Green & Co.||0||2||0|
|Mr. E. D. Johnston||0||2||0|