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Speaker: A true commitment

16 Responses

  • Angela Hart,

    Attitudinal change. Same needed for disability and poverty. Good post Diane. Perhaps we should consider attitudes as carefully as policy for the September election.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Sorry for a half-formed thought but doesn't some of this come under bullying as an accepted part of our culture. Abuse of power, the abuse of political power, the abuse of physical power to achieve your goal.

    We see it in our business structures. We see it in our sporting heroes.

    And sadly because women so rarely have physical or political power they are the usual victims.

    Even more sad is that when women get power they so often devolve to the same abuse of power. I guess that's a bit of this that I find as disturbing as anything else.

    Not trying to distract from the very real and specific issue of violence against women but just trying to see what parts of our culture enable the continued violence.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    doesn’t some of this come under bullying as an accepted part of our culture. Abuse of power, the abuse of political power, the abuse of physical power to achieve your goal.

    Domestic abuse is bullying. The motivations and the methods are the same. The pervasive effect on the victim is the same.

    When the major issue in domestic violence cases is reporting, it may even have the opposite effect, making women more unlikely to report the offending for fear of the impact that could have on their partner and family.

    This will absolutely happen. At the level where abuse first starts coming to the attention of the police and social agencies, victims want their partners to get help. Having your partner jailed, losing his income? Which becomes losing your home and struggling to feed your kids? It means women will wait until the violence escalates, until they're afraid for their lives, before they start to report.

    I've already sat in a police station for nearly two hours because a witness said there had been strangulation, I was saying there hadn't, and they were waiting to see if bruises came up on my throat. Even when it came to court, the other witness - who was mistaken - was believed over me. Because I was the victim, and of course I would lie. You're going to get more of what we did then. Where was his hand? Was it on her throat, or on her chest? Was it a grab or a push?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Domestic abuse is bullying. The motivations and the methods are the same. The pervasive effect on the victim is the same.

    Aye. I was just thinking out loud that perhaps one approach is to address the general bullying that pervades our society. The assumption that if I can make someone do something they don't want then I have "won". Again without wanting to take focus from the specific, just trying to figure out how much of our culture we need to change. Depressingly, we may need to change all of it.

    I'm not sure I'm right though - there really does seem to be something special about the expectation that men have some dominant right to commit violence on women. Something that goes beyond mere bullying.

    As I said just thinking out loud and very happy to be wrong.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Having your partner jailed, losing his income? Which becomes losing your home and struggling to feed your kids?

    Wouldn't it be nice if such an event triggered an automatic support system, both social and financial. Would be happy to have my taxes do something like that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    Yup, adding new "offenses" that are already offenses is just doing something for the sake of being seen to be doing something. In a fairly retrograde fashion.

    Also, I have to say I find "male assaults female" retrograde in itself. I certainly get the historical basis, but I wish there were some better way of targeting DV offenses in a less-gendered way.

    My only experience of DV was in a same-sex relationship, but there aren't clamourings for female-assaults-female offenses. Once again, I fully understand the contexts of relative physical strength (but not always) and just which gender does by far most the DV offending (but again, not always).

    I wish the current law weren't such a blunt instrument, and it has shades of certain second-wave feminist "all women are victims" thinking to me, but I can't suggest what might be a better formulation.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Wouldn’t it be nice if such an event triggered an automatic support system, both social and financial. Would be happy to have my taxes do something like that.

    Great idea. Support that doesn't leave you in penury. Can’t see National going for it though. Would love to be proved wrong.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 258 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    We need to stop talking about violence against women as if it can be “solved” by tweaking an Act or giving the maximum penalty to an offender. The way men offend against women is inextricably tied to the way society perceives women, and when we simply increase the penalty for an offence, we’re not targeting the root of the problem.

    This. Definitely this.

    By the time the law becomes involved, it is too late; the victims have already been created.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • A S, in reply to Brent Jackson,

    The solution here does not lie in legislative change alone. It lies in the way each individual conducts themselves. And that’s exactly where this government needs to start.

    So much this.

    The inter-generational entrenchment of family violence is horrifying. As is the literature indicating that in over 60% of cases where there is family or domestic violence, there is also child maltreatment.

    Unless something tangible and pro-active is done to change these societal patterns of behaviour, this problem isn't going away, and no amount of pointless, legislative knee-jerk reactions will fix it.

    There are a whole bunch of communities and groups across the country actively trying to change attitudes and beliefs around family violence, to stamp it out in their communities. But there is very little practical support or funding for them from government (and certainly nowhere near the same level of funding that goes to dealing with the costs of violence).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2007 • 269 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    When dealing with an issue of deeply-rooted culture, seemingly small and insignificant actions are where the change starts.

    Changing peoples minds is no insignificant thing, When this government sees people as mere troublesome insects. I apologise to the insect world. To quote William Blake
    "Am not I
    A fly like thee?
    Or art not thou
    A man like me?"

    Forgive his genderising

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to andin,

    To quote William Blake
    “Am not I
    A fly like thee?
    Or art not thou
    A man like me?”

    Blake pushed the envelope with insects.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac, in reply to A S,

    certainly nowhere near the same level of funding that goes to dealing with the costs of violence

    Yes, why is it so hard to put money up front where it needs to be, rather than for the ambulances at the bottom the cliff? If you don't care about disadvantaged lives and wasted opportunities, surely a quick glance at the costs to the judicial system should be sufficient for the fiscally-minded types?

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    If we want attitudinal change we need to start, at the beginning, with kids.

    We need to stop treating bullies as a terrifying other and own that any of us, on a bad day, can engage in bullying behaviour if we don't watch ourselves. I've seen kids stunned when you point out that their behaviour could be viewed as bullying and kids with "mean girl" tendencies attempting to start anti-bullying campaigns. We are so invested in protecting ourselves from the boogieman-bullies that we rarely stop to examine our own behaviour.

    We need to teach our kids, and especially our boys, to deal with their emotions without shame. It's ok to feel angry, afraid, jealous or frustrated but we need to express these feelings without lashing out at other people.

    We need to teach kids what healthy relationships look like. That control and obsession are not the same as love.

    Communication, compromise, and conflict resolution are learned skills that I don't think we focus nearly enough on them.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    Conflict resolution should so be an NCEA subject !

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Isabel Hitchings,

    If we want attitudinal change we need to start, at the beginning, with kids.

    Adults can still screw it up tho' (while the kids are growing up) while thinking they are sound sooooo clever and intelligent and give the negatives to their words 'nary a thought.
    Like this Ahole

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Brent Jackson,

    Conflict resolution should so be an NCEA subject !

    Excellent idea.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

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