Rachel Stewart writes about a disaster for this country:
New Zealand has reached the pinnacle of world number one in domestic violence
There’s no doubt that New Zealand’s epidemic of domestic violence lies firmly at the feet of men. As does the solution.
New Zealand has reached the pinnacle of world number one in domestic violence statistics. We now have the highest reported rate of intimate partner violence in the developed world.
Stop and let that sink in for a moment.
New Zealand is number one in the world for domestic violence (in the “developed” world).
Police undertook more than 100,000 investigations into domestic abuse last year. In 2013 children were present at 63 per cent of the callouts police attended. Yet, it’s estimated that 90 per cent of family violence goes unreported.
Down to the all-too-common experiences of the victims with “the system”.
It continues to fascinate and enrage me that the vast majority of men say nothing, do nothing, and appear to feel nothing about this horrific situation. Of course, it’s women who are doing the bulk of the speaking out and when we do, in many cases, we’re immediately subjected to – you guessed it – threats of violence. The Tony Veitch saga last week was a case in point. …
Read on in the original if you have the stomach any more “Veitchy”.
I’m sure Rachel wouldn’t mind me quoting the rest of her piece verbatim, and I have nothing to add:
So what would I have men do differently?
First off they need to use seriously loud voices about the issue. They have seriously loud voices about rugby, or anything else they deem worthy. Why not this?
They must speak up when other men make sexist and derogatory remarks about women in their presence. Because we all know that violence towards women stems from such casual misogyny. Don’t we?
More than this, they need to act.
If men are aware of any woman being physically beaten and abused by her partner they need to send a posse around to have a friendly chat with him.
I do not say this lightly. My life experiences have taught me that men who habitually beat women tend to only respect the might and disapproval of other men.
The situation would improve if a father, a brother and a son – and a male friend or two for good measure – were to collectively approach the abuser of their daughter, sister, mother or friend. Call it an intervention.
Let the abuser feel the same fear the woman in his life has come to feel every single day. Just the threat of force would possibly be enough, but if it isn’t, well, human nature being what it is you can probably guess the rest.
It’s likely deemed a politically incorrect method, I know. However, ineffective laws and talk-fests and online shaming have only seen our domestic violence statistics steadily rising.
We call a bunch of good men who take the car keys off their drunk mate, potentially saving lives in the process, “bloody legends”.
I’d call a bunch of good men who intervene in potentially saving a woman’s life at the hands of a violent man “bloody legends” too. Wouldn’t you?
Or does the fact that I’ve written this – a mere woman – qualify me for online comments about dildos, my physical appearance and uppercuts too?
I’m hopeful that will not be the case, but then I’m also hopeful that domestic violence against women will one day become socially unacceptable too.
Over to you, men.
Update (Thanks Tracey):
If you’re being abused or suspect somebody you know may be being abused, there are plenty of organisations out there ready to help men, women, and children deal with family violence.
Pai Ake Solutions: www.paiake.co.nz 0800 PAI AKE (0800 724 253)
Relationships Aotearoa: www.relationshipsaotearoa.org.nz 0800 735 283
Man Alive: manalive.org.nz/contact.htm 0800 TANE ORA (0800 826 367)
Shine: www.2shine.org.nz 0508 744 633
Family Violence Information Line: areyouok.org.nz 0800 456 450
Women’s Refuge: womensrefuge.org.nz 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843
Waikato Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse: survivor.org.nz 07 858 4112