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Michael Laws Offensive About White Ribbon Day

Comments by Michael Laws Offensive

David White
March 28, 2012

“As a White Ribbon Ambassador and father who has lost a daughter to a family violence murder, I will not stay silent when I hear men saying it's OK to be violent towards women,” says White Ribbon Ambassador David White.

Talkback host Michael Laws today made the suggestion that some women deserve to be abused when talking about the Pets as Pawns reseach by Women's Refuge and RSPCA.

Laws said 'do these women deserve to be abused almost, in fact invited, if that's their reason for staying” (fear of pets being abused).

When I became a White Ribbon Ambassador I was asked to make the pledge that I would never commit or condone violent behaviour towards women and I take that pledge seriously. I emphasise that point in my recently released book Helen, the Helen Meads Tragedy.

I'm not willing to be silent while a well known radio personality suggests that women asks to be abused. No one deserves to be abused, killed or raped. All people have a right to live without violence.

My daughter Helen stayed in a violent and controlling relationship, and remained in that relationship for many reasons. She thought that she had a better chance to control the violence from inside the family home, thought she could better protect her daughters, and she stayed because she was more afraid of what he would do if she left, than what he did while she stayed.

Family violence is insidious and must never make excuses for it. We must call to account those in posistions of reponsibility and ensure that they do not perpetrate the myth that women ask for it whether it is rape, violence or murder.

I take part in White Ribbon because it is a campaign that aims to create a new norm. It is not about all men are bad. That is a pathetic misinterpretation of a campaign that encourages good behaviour when we know there is a lot of bad behaviour about.

I am proud to be a White Ribbon Ambassador in the company of men such as Ruebin Wiki who played with controlled aggression on the field, but never took that aggression or violence back into his own home or relationships.

We need good examples set by men, and we invite men such as Michael Laws to put their own anger aside and join Ambassadors such as the Prime Minister in showing we are against violence – not making excuses for violence.

Mr Laws should walk a mile in my shoes to understand the need to save other parents from living with the consequences of family violence. That as a public figure he should take a more constructive approach about a crime that is rampant in NZ. That it is far better to voice our concerns on the dangers on family violence, no matter who commits it, and use any vehicle to communicate that message, than sit behind a microphone and make extraordinary comments that excuses such behaviour.


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