Ms Prendergast To Further Her Mayoral Campaign
Last night I attended the women only Safety meeting held at the Wellington Town Hall organised by the YWCA and More FM. The Wellington Police and the Self -Defence network were invited to speak and Kerry Prendergast from the Wellington City Council spoke also.
The YWCA and the Self-Defence network spoke of how women should not have to change their behaviour. The victimising and demeaning speech made by Ms Prendergast negated all this good advice.
Ms Prendergast used phrases such as 'Prisoners of Fear', 'Restoring your freedom to move around the inner city', and 'Reduce the fear factor'.
Language like this does not empower women instead
it enforces the message that Wellington does not belong to
them any more. An example of political
exploitation by Ms Prendergast to further her Mayoral campaign.
Ms Prendergast stated that the Wellington City Council has spent 5 million over four years on safety her statement was ironically followed by a plea from the YWCA for community funding to keep the price of their self-defence courses down.
I reiterate my challenges that were not answered satisfactorily at the meeting: When will the City Council value its people over property? That 5 million obviously hasn't tricked down to the YWCA where it is needed.
And when will the Police and the Community stop blaming women for the Wellington City attacks? The call to use your 'common sense' wears thin when attacks happen in broad daylight at 9 am in the morning.
This is not a woman's problem. The meeting called last night should be followed up with another one with men involved so we can educate the community, not just women, that rape and sexual assault is not to be tolerated in the community.