Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Our National Shame: Two Deaths In White Ribbon Week

As we mark intolerance of violence towards women for White Ribbon, two Kiwi families will bury loved ones whose lives ended because of family violence.

Crystal-Lee Selwyn of Hamilton died earlier this week after an alleged assault by her partner. Police are investigating her death as a homicide. She was the mother of eight children.

In Tauranga Ethan Kerapa was fatally shot by police after he held his children hostage at knifepoint. He had an extensive history of using serious violence against his partner and children.

For some, these devastating deaths are just more headlines we can ignore. It’s too much, overwhelming.

Some of us turn to blame. ‘The government need to do something,’ and ‘What’s the system doing about this?’ are common outcries. As specialist family violence experts who work in the ‘system’, we can tell you we’re doing all we can to clean up the results of family violence in New Zealand homes. We know it’s not enough. Any intimidation, any assault, any murder is too much.

Every one of us is responsible for violence in NZ

How can this be when most of us see ourselves as peaceful, law-abiding Kiwis who treat others with love and respect?

It happens like this: we react to headlines about violence with shock and surprise. He seemed like such a good bloke. He was a good dad. It’s so tragic.

But good dads don’t hurt their partners. They don’t hold knives to their children’s chests. They don’t punch, yell or intimidate. Good blokes don’t act on anger – a normal and valid emotion – inappropriately.

As individuals we need to be alive and alert to reading the signs of violence and to address them every time we see them. We must stop acting surprised at these terrible incidents and lamenting their tragedies; instead we have to insist that violence is neither acceptable or necessary.

Violent acts don’t come out of nowhere – they stem from people’s everyday behaviours. So, what are the signs of violence we need to be alert to?
• The way he speaks about his partner – using derogatory or humiliating terms.
• Name-calling.
• Acting with aggression: slamming doors, yelling, throwing items.
• Controlling and possessive behaviour like constantly messaging his partner or checking on her whereabouts.
• Making all the decisions in the relationship.

How do you call out violence?

There is always a choice to behave differently. Every person – and especially men – is capable of engaging in appropriate behaviour. It is everyone’s responsibility to support them with that.

Being respectful and helpful is essential in approaching someone about concerning or violent behaviours, says Takarua Tawera, who works with high-risk violent offenders and is the chair of the National Network Family Violence Services.

“They might not have the skills to moderate their intensity of emotions, so the situation needs de-escalating, rather than igniting,” he says. “Every person and situation is different but you could say something like, ‘Bro look, I’m here. Let’s give it time and breathe. Have time out, think about it, then you and I can talk.’”

Harsh judgement of someone who uses violent behaviours is not helpful, says Mr Tawera.

“We want to challenge the behaviours – not the person. We know that people who use violence can also be loving, good men but we need to support them during critical times when anger and violence takes control.”

If you use violence or are affected by it, there is help available in your area now.

If you’re in immediate danger, call 111. Or, contact a specialist family violence worker in your area by visiting www.nnfvs.org.nz.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Whakaari/White Island: A Minute’s Silence For Victims

A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed...

The minute’s silence will be exactly one week after the eruption started on Monday 9 December. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On What An Inquiry Might Look Like
Presumably, if there is to be a ministerial inquiry (at the very least) into the Whakaari/White Island disaster, it will need to be a joint ministerial inquiry. That’s because the relevant areas of responsibility seem to be so deeply interwoven... More>>


More Discussions: National On Housing, Transport And Infrastructure

National has today released the ninth and tenth in our series of discussion documents, which contain a range of proposals to ensure New Zealand has the high-quality housing and infrastructure it needs to prosper, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says. More>>


Trains: Govt's Plans For Rail

The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Welfare Vs Infrastructure Spending

If New Zealand has a pressing need to stimulate its flagging economy, it seems very weird that the government is choosing a $12 billion package of infrastructure spending – mainly on road and rail – that by definition, will take a very long time to deliver their stimulatory benefits ... More>>

New Reports: "Immediate Commitment To Doing Justice Differently"

Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and Te Tangi o te Manawanui: Recommendations for Reform from the Chief Victims Advisor. Both recommend a fresh approach to the way criminal justice has been approached... More>>


"Heart-Breaking And Confronting": Surgical Mesh Restorative Justice Report

Minister Genter: “People have talked about losing the life they had enjoyed before surgical mesh harmed them – the loss of a steady job, the ability to exercise, a loving relationship in some cases. Others described the chronic pain they experienced..." More>>


Law Foundation: Government Decryption Powers Must Respect Privacy

The power of government to order users and companies to decrypt encrypted data and devices needs stronger privacy protections and additional safeguards, according to a study published by researchers at the University of Waikato. More>>





InfoPages News Channels