Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: So far from trivial

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    BTW, folks, sorry for self-promoting but you might want to turn your dial to Radio Live at five pm on Saturday. Apart from much else in the way of tasty goodness, I've got my own 'plague on you all' take on the Veitch (rhymes with retch) media circus.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12040 posts Report Reply

  • Eddie Clark,

    To throw something else into the discussion. As RB and some others have said, there are VERY strong policy reasons for not allowing criminal justice to be dealt with privately. To do otherwise would mean that the wealthy could simply pay for criminal acts and walk away with no record while everybody else has to face jail / criminal sanctions. And the law is quite strict in trying to dissuade people from intimidating witnesses to crimes.

    See, for example, sections 117 and 118 of the Crimes Act:

    116 Conspiring to defeat justice

    Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who conspires to obstruct, prevent, pervert, or defeat the course of justice in New Zealand or the course of justice in an overseas jurisdiction.

    117 Corrupting juries and witnesses


    Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who—

    (a) dissuades or attempts to dissuade a person, by threats, bribes, or other corrupt means, from giving evidence in any cause or matter (whether civil or criminal, and whether tried or to be tried in New Zealand or in an overseas jurisdiction)

    ...

    Now Crimes was not my best subject at law school, and perhaps 117 is inapplicable because this is technically bribing someone to not make a complaint, rather than not to give evidence in an existing proceeding. However, 116 is broadly worded, and even if an assault case could not be made out, if it was confirmed that Veitch assaulted his girlfriend in any way and then paid her not to complain to the police, there is a possible case of obstruction of justice. Graeme would know better than me (you know all the pedantic ins and outs, Edge).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 270 posts Report Reply

  • Thom James,

    "'What DID you do to her, Tony?' (caps in original)

    Sick. Fucks. I've had raw tofu with more taste, and worn hot pants with more class.

    Agree. Crassness reminiscent of the most lurid of British tabs

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    It's not OK for either side!

    No. It isn't.

    It might be worth noting that even if we accept your gender-neutral approach to 'likelihood of domestic violence', and assume that violence against men by women is underreported, we should perhaps also note that women are far more likely to *be actually murdered* by their male partners than vice versa.

    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/ipv01.pdf

    There are degrees of violence to be analysed here.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    The people who work in this area indicate that domestic violence is overwhelmingly male-perpetrated, and I'm inclined to agree with them.

    I really have no idea, but I'd anticipate you'd have to add a "serious" in there. I suspect that a far higher proportion of female-perpetrated domestic violence just never gets seen by 'people who work in this area'.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3009 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    So saying "we don't know what happened" just doesn't wash.

    depends who you mean by 'we'.
    I from the media coverage I've seen don't really have a clear picture of what went on on the night, who veitch is apart from "the guy who talks while I read a magazine for 20 minutes during the evening news".

    if by 'we' you mean 'you', ie part of the media privy to extra info which you can't print then that's a different story.

    I was commenting on 'we' the ignorant masses, including myself in that group. some of 'we' may know more, most don't.

    C'mon Rob, hit me with something that might conceivably be a viable other side of the story.

    you want me to hijack the thread? um, DRM, NZ on air....

    fucked if I know, mental illness, alien abduction, he lives next to a meridian substation that causes violent outbursts, he's got multiple personalities and one of those personalities is actually a woman who was the one that did the attack, on of danielle's stories-something to do with blood family picnics and postcards? probably the first one.

    violence in our society is absolutely disheartening, I hate that we read about it so much(most of the front section of a newspaper is about it), that it happens so much, but unfortunately for us as a species we've got a long long history of this shit, and ostracizing the offenders ignores that it is a part of "our" make up, (our past and hopefully not our future). I don't know why this guy did what he did, he seems to be well liked outside of this instance, it doesn't really make sense to me, I see it with sadness rather than anger. That said, if it was my sister who got her back broken I'd probably react a lot more heatedly.

    I've read of some maori dealing with individual acts of violence by treating it as a community problem, and not just the problem of the person who did it. I guess cos they see the offender in their entirety, not just in light of the event.

    And one good stomp to someone's back could break it in 4 places, but then so could multiple boots. a doctors report which we haven't seen yet would put more light on the nature of his actions, ie sustained violence, single out burst with devastating results,

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Do you have links for that?

    Surely do, and you can find plenty by Googling for things like "domestic violence initiator statistics".

    http://www.abs-comptech.com/domestic.html
    http://www.ejfi.org/DV/dv-6.htm
    http://www.lectlaw.com/files/fam27.htm
    http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ncfv-cnivf/familyviolence/html/mlintima_e.html

    And the biggie:

    http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm
    SUMMARY: This bibliography examines 219 scholarly investigations: 170 empirical studies and 49 reviews and/or analyses, which demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners. The aggregate sample size in the reviewed studies exceeds 221,300.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3910 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    Claims of gender symmetry [in domestic violence] are often made by those who do not understand the data: what the various studies measure and what they omit. Others make claims of gender symmetry based on disingenuous political motives, attempting to discredit women’s suffering by offering abstract statistical equivalences that turn out to be chimerical.

    ...

    Since 1975 at least ten ...investigations have confirmed the fact that women hit and beat their husbands. Unfortunately the data on wife-to-husband violence has been misreported, misinterpreted, and misunderstood. Research uniformly shows that about as many women hit men as men hit women. However, those who report that husband abuse is as common as wife abuse overlook two important facts. First, the greater average size and strength of men and their greater aggressiveness means that a man’s punch will probably produce more pain, injury and harm than a punch by a woman. Second, nearly three-fourths of the violence committed by women is done in self-defense.

    (Both quotes from Michael Kimmel, '"Gender Symmetry" in Domestic Violence', Violence Against Women 8, no. 11 [2002]: 1356, 1357.)

    Just sayin'.

    East Greenwich • Since Mar 2008 • 433 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Some handy information about the women as perpetrators of domestic violence line from the Feminism 101 blog.

    The statement that men and women hit one another in roughly equal numbers is true, however, it cannot be made in a vacuum without the qualifiers that a) women are seriously injured at seven times the rate of men and b) that women are killed by partners at more than two times the rate of men

    It is important to note that differences between women’s and men’s rates of physical assault by an intimate partner become greater as the seriousness of the assault increases. For example, women were two to three times more likely than men to report that an intimate partner threw something that could hurt or pushed, grabbed, or shoved them. However, they were 7 to 14 times more likely to report that an intimate partner beat them up, choked or tried to drown them, threatened them with a gun, or actually used a gun on them

    Sometimes women are accused of being “just as violent” as their batterers. However, spousal homicide rates show that women are killed by their partners at a rate of three times higher than women who kill men, and women who have been separated from their partners are murdered eight times more by ex-husbands than separated men killed by ex-wives.

    Generally, the claim of “mutual battering” is a method of denying what is really taking place. A close look at the history and pattern of a “violent relationship” will most often show that the abuser has superior physical strength and skills for assault as well a superior social status and privilege by virtue of his gender, race or class. By contrast, his partner will be the one to adapt her behavior and lifestyle preferences to please the abuser, and will be the one who has suffered the more extensive physical and/or emotional damage. Both partners may be violent, but studies have shown that men are violent in response to women resisting their control or trying to leave, and women are violent when their lives or their children’s lives are in danger.

    I haven't cherry picked these - there's plenty more there, and you might like to take a look at it before going to much further down the "but women are violent too" line.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1323 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    the wealthy could simply pay for criminal acts and walk away with no record

    seems to be a lot of that going on at high levels,
    exhibit 1) american political figures.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    the greater average size and strength of men and their greater aggressiveness means that a man’s punch will probably produce more pain, injury and harm than a punch by a woman

    That's the kicker. Men are constrained in how they can respond to being attacked by their partner, because of their greater physical strength. I certainly don't dispute that more of the victims of DV who need to seek medical (or worse!) attention are female.
    What I'm disputing is that it's always the men hitting the women that leads to the police being called. Remember that a lot of the police incidents of DV don't lead to medical attention. Two people are screaming and throwing stuff, and a neighbour gets worried and calls the cops. The man gets carted off because, well, he's the man. No physical injury of great consequence to either side, but he's guilty because he has a penis.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3910 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    He's removed becuase no matter who started it, he's more likely to cause serious physical harm to the other person.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1323 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    you might like to take a look at it before going to much further down the "but women are violent too" line.

    *sigh*
    If the only measures that count are serious injury or death, then of course men are overwhelmingly the perpetrators. But if it's who should be hauled away for the night because a couple were scrapping, neither's injured, and the cops got called, the default position should not be to drag away the male just because he's the male.
    If there's injury, by all means, though I have heard anecdotally of men who got pushed down stairs by their unharmed partner who still got to spend the night in a cell.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3910 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    He's removed becuase no matter who started it, he's more likely to cause serious physical harm to the other person.

    In other words, he's guilty (and punished, because people don't sleep care of the police for the hell of it) because he's male. Taking her away would achieve the same end result, of separating the parties and ensuring that things don't escalate to serious injury or worse. So why is he the one who has to go even if she started it?

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3910 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Men are constrained in how they can respond to being attacked by their partner, because of their greater physical strength.

    Rubbish. When you're stronger and taller and have better reach, you've got more options for dealing with the situation without contributing to the violence - ie restraint.

    I've read that since the advent of women's refuges, husband kills wife homicides have fallen a bit, but wife kills husband homicides have plummetted. Many of those, the theory goes, resulted from women in abusive relationships having more options to get away from it. There are more than a few cases of women in violent relationships who have killed their partners and not been able to rely on self-defence, because their methods were out of proportion to the violence currently underway (ie sneaking up on sleeping violent husband and cracking him on the head with something). If you're stronger, you've got more options.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 814 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    He's removed becuase no matter who started it, he's more likely to cause serious physical harm to the other person.

    Oh, and thanks for completely proving the point I was trying to make. I wasn't attempting to justify DV, or to reinterpret that statistics about who injures who more. I was pointing out that the default position is that the man gets dragged away because he's the man, not because of any actual evidence that he's done anything wrong.

    I'll just leave this topic alone, now. I'm sure that everyone's now convinced that I support DV, which wasn't my intention.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3910 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    But as I see you point out up thread, Matthew, this clearly isn't the case in the Veitch situation. I'm not sure why, then, a divergence into women's domestic violence is warranted. It has the effect of minimising the seriousness of this case, whether or not that is the intention of those wanting to go there.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 814 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    So why is he the one who has to go even if she started it?

    As long as *someone* has to go, minimising harm dictates that you remove the person statistically likely to cause the most damage. I imagine it's often hard to establish who started it, and of course that doesn't tell you who's going to finish it either.

    I think I'm going to want more than some anecdotes before I believe that police persecution of men whose wives hit them first is a widespread problem in New Zealand.

    Also, I realise that we got off on this tangent in an organic, freewheeling kind of way, but considering that the original discussion was about a case where a woman was victimised, it is depressing that even here it appears to end up with discussing the problems of violence against men.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    I'm not sure why, then, a divergence into women's domestic violence is warranted

    It wasn't intentional. I observed that the default situation is to take the man away when the police are called to DV incidents, despite strong evidence that such a position is unjust. I was asked to support the assertion of evidence, and got countered by people confirming that men put women in hospital or on the slab far, far more often than is the reverse.

    It has the effect of minimising the seriousness of this case, whether or not that is the intention of those wanting to go there.

    Which is my other reason for dropping it. Wider societal inequities have no bearing on what happened here. Nothing could justify Veitch's putting her in a wheelchair.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3910 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Both partners may be violent, but studies have shown that men are violent in response to women resisting their control or trying to leave, and women are violent when their lives or their children’s lives are in danger.

    Deborah, you are trying to justify female perpetrated domestic violence, Sometimes women beat the crap out of there children, rather then protecting them. Domestic violence is domestic violence, it's not about gender.

    Except of course when you are the victim, then you have Women's refuge and Rape crises for support, But only if you are female. Men, for what ever reason just don't have that victim support. This raises the question, what happens to somebody thats been repeatedly abused, then left to deal with it alone ?

    Since Nov 2006 • 2752 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    As general background on reporting domestic violence and plausibility of attempting to pass off some of the acts speculated of Veitch as 'falling down the stairs' earlier in the discussion:

    The Ministry of Health Family Violence Intervention Guidelines (http://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/pagesmh/4220/$File/family-violence.pdf) although not always uniformly practised, the advice not to without training for one, or the violence acknowledged by the paitent includes:

    "[I]dentification of abuse based on signs and symptoms, or questioning of individuals/groups thought to be at high risk of partner abuse does not improve rates of identification

    "There is a legal and ethical obligation to take action if serious harm is likely to arise through not doing so.

    "A court may order disclosure of transaction details whether they have been recorded or not, although this rarely occurs."

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 566 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    "A court may order disclosure of transaction details whether they have been recorded or not, although this rarely occurs."

    Confirming my suspicion that it would be unlikely for the police to get access to Dunne-Powell's medical records. So unless she complains, the cops will probably have to do it without the benefit of those documents. Making it that much harder, since so much of the potential evidence is hearsay. "She told me that the doctor told her that..."

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3910 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Craig,

    <i>Oh, and also: there's a reason this has become trial-by-media.

    It's because there wasn't a trial-by-justice-system.</i>

    Nah, it's a trial by media because they know it'll sell. C'mon, are you seriously suggesting that trial-by-media is any sort of stand in for the real thing? This guy will probably end up in court, and well he should if he's guilty of what the Dom says he is, and that would probably have been obvious to the them and anyone else in the know from the very beginning. The reason that this case is headlining is not because it's a case of justice gone wrong, it's because Veitch is what passes for a celebrity in this country.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Deborah, you are trying to justify female perpetrated domestic violence

    I never said that, I never would say it, and I rsent that you put the words in my mouth.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1323 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    I really enjoyed your comment Rachel.

    There were 20,623 serious assaults and 4,831 grievous assualts reported last year.

    Since Nov 2006 • 605 posts Report Reply

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