The Price Of Silence
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 9 JULY 2008
The Price Of Silence
After listening to the allegation that a prominent NZ MEDIA personality had paid his partner a large sum of money to cover up the severe beating he had inflicted on her, Catherine Lawson - Professional Consultant for Jigsaw Family Services states: “this is all too common a practice in abusive relationships.”
“Not all men can afford to pay out hush money to their partners but there are other ways the secret of family violence is harboured in homes across New Zealand’.
Ms Lawson says “this recent high profile case, is an example of how family violence is kept secret.”
In New Zealand, family violence and child abuse is reaching almost epidemic proportions and has become pervasive in our culture. Harmful behaviour cuts across every fibre of our society and cannot be pigeon-holed into any specific culture or creed. It is practiced and hidden across the spectrum of every socio-economic level.
Until we break the silence, expose the secret, take onboard that family violence is not a private problem but a social problem, we collectively send out a message to those who choose to practice abuse and to those who are abused that it is acceptable behaviour. This will mean that another generation will continue the cycle of abuse.
Ms Lawson states that women who are subjected to abuse by their partners are often pressured into ‘carrying the shame and blame’. This often traps them into staying in abusive relationships and society supports this by pointing its finger at the victims.
It’s time as a nation that we stopped blaming the victims, that we all become accountable, take steps to stop this growing epidemic to break the silence and the shame.
Ms Lawson says there are many things that we can all do to help break the silence of harmful behaviour.
“We can all start right now to break the cycle of abuse through taking small steps. We can, discuss the topic with our family, friends, colleagues, neighbours. We can get alongside someone we are concerned about, to grow a trusting friendship so that when the time is right, we could be one person that can be approached to talk to. Doing these things are the first steps to breaking the silence and exposing the secret.”