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Commitment to Non Violence Needed

25 November 2008

Commitment to Non Violence - Not Just for One Day of the Year

If your woman steps out of line today, don’t forget to give her a clip around the ears, a slap on the bum, or a smack on her hand to keep her in line, advocates the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) – Yeah right!
Today marks the International Day to End Violence against Women, White Ribbon Day.

“To make a long-term change in our society, we need to start from the ground up; how we are treating our children; the normalisation of violence in their living space,” says NCWNZ National President, Elizabeth Bang.

In the recent survey, only twenty percent of respondents in the Children’s Commissioner Survey believed children should not have the same protections as adults against assault.

The recent study by Aotearoa/New Zealand Families: Their Perspectives on Child Discipline and Recent Legislative Change interviewed 117 parents from 100 families nationally from December 2006 to July 2008.

The results of the study showed that parents were more inclined to use timeout, distraction, a reward system and praise as preferred forms of discipline, than that of smacking and shouting with a much higher rate of effectiveness than that of smacking and shouting.

As seen in the Nia Glassie case, a mother stood by and allowed her child to be assaulted by others in her home. The mother herself engaged in abusive treatment.

“As women, on a day that marks the end of violence against women, we too have to be accountable for our role in facilitating, practising and supporting violence,” says Mrs Bang. “Had Nia lived, would she as a mature woman have chosen to break the cycle of violence or continue it? This is a scenario we will never know the answer to”.

NCWNZ commends the sticker campaign “smack free Maraes” being launched shortly, advocating and actively promoting non-violence that Dr Hone Kaa announced on Sunday on the Marae programme on Sunday.

NCWNZ would also like to see this initiative taken up by all church-based groups and other groups associated with NCWNZ.

“Let’s not waste this opportunity to stamp out violence at all levels in our society. The senseless death of Nia Glassie is testament to why we must make our communities violence-free,” concluded Mrs Bang.


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