Wednesday, 28 November 2012

ARTICLE: A look at gender violence in NZ

Amnesty International has a good blog called 'Human Writes', and the most recent post was a look at domestic violence again women in New Zealand:

I have lived in New Zealand for just over a year, and I do have to say that there are a lot of news items, both nationally and locally, on violence again women and children in the the home.

When I lived in Nelson, there was a weekly write up in the local newspaper of the arrests that had taken place that week. There were clearly two distinct categories in these arrests - drinking in public places, and 'domestic violence against women'......and there were at least 3 of these latter arrests every week in Nelson alone!

I agree with the writer of the article above that culture, and 'family' can not be used as an excuse to hide violence in the home. Domestic violence is NEVER appropriate, no matter where or who you come from.

Please read the Amnesty International blog entry, and comment.


  1. This interesting comment was sent to me by my friend Jeremy. Great to receive some discussion and feedback!

    - - -

    Most of the woes of humankind can firmly be placed at the feet of men. Yet what role have women played in standing-by while the men create chaos, hurt, destruction and pain. The working assumption is that "men" en masse are incapable of responsibility -> the responsible men and women have been incapable of curbing the excesses of violent men (be it from domestic violence, to gang warfare, to international legalised warfare, to environmental destruction by collective agreement [or obfuscation of responsibility])... :-) Just a few thoughts to stir the pot!

    Going-on (the clarity of my original fresh thoughts were lost), what is it that prevents the majority who want “good” from stopping the violence and destruction that the minority of power wielding (mainly men) create? I have often felt that the mass-media and the modern structure of society keeps “us” numb, separated, busy, in debt etc. In comfort, occupation (being busy), or through force of indebtedness, in general we find little time or energy to devote to creating a better society, or preventing violence, destruction, warfare etc. And, perhaps largely due to being too comfortable, the richer chattering parts of societies aroung the world also feel no need for action, or we may only do so by giving money to others to act on our behalf.

    It is human nature that until things affect us at a personal level it is easier to turn a blind eye. Fear also plays a role. The fear of speaking-out. The fear of acting to halt actual violence in front of us. If I try to stop violence in the street, will I simply get beaten myself. There is a big risk in taking action – especially in a world where drugs can seriously diminish the ability of perpetrators to see reason.

    Fear also impacts on us at an institutional level. Will society and the authorities support me in my efforts. How lonely will that road be? It is often said that those who seek power are the very individuals who should be denied it.

    Returning to the matter of men and violence. Men are inately predisposed to violence, this is how humankind has become dominant. It is our ability or inability to focus that aggression in useful ways that leads to outbursts of violence under inappropriate circumstances. Domestic violence was once routine, as were many forms of violence at all levels of society (certainly from the Anglo-Saxon perspective). It is certainly true that we have travelled a long way from that position, we generally live under much safer conditions (not everywhere of course). Men need outlets for their aggression. This is why we have sport – rugby etc. These modern tribal battles with their tight rules take the place of the slaughter fields of bygone ages.


  2. .......continued

    Although we are inately violent, we are also capable of curbing our behaviour. This is obvious. The problem of domestic violence is due to many factors, and I can claim no expertise in this respect, but I have my own views on the matter. Violent men – although, violence in the home is at once unacceptable, it is still common. We need to understand the causes of the violence, and to know what actions to take to escape it, and prevent it. A violent man needs to be shown the hurt and pain his violence causes and to understand the meanness in his actions. He needs to learn and understand where his belief that violence is okay came from, and to know it must stop. He needs support to help prevent it recurring, and he needs healthy outlets for his violence. The victims of violence need to walk away, to escape from the situation, to show that that behaviour is unacceptable and ultimately leads to loss. Fighting back or arguing is no solution and will often enflame an already dangerous situation. Escape is the only powerful option. A woman takes back her power, she is saying “I will not take this any longer, I love you but I will not accept your violence.”. This creates the change and space necessary for recovery, for both parties.Only by removing oneself from the situation and breaking-off contact with the perpetrator will he really “get” that he can no longer continue (with this victim, at least). Subsequently, the victim “must” report the abuse to the relevant authorities/agencies. The perpetrator must be known, to help prevent him from finding a new victim, and to start the proceedure of getting help and support to that he can solve his problems and stop offending.