There is a cringeworthy opinion piece in the Herald on Sunday by broadcaster Tony Veitch.
He claims to have grown up in the ten years since he repeatedly beat his then partner. Strangely, Veitch seems to have forgotten her name; it’s Kristin Dunne-Powell. Nowhere in his piece is there an apology to her. Nowhere.
“Even though it was the only time that I have ever lashed out in my life, once was too much”
There were multiple incidents, on different days in different locations. Veitch was only convicted of one specific charge, after a plea bargain. We’ll never know how many convictions would have been entered if he hadn’t bought his victim’s silence for $100,000.
“I live with what I did every day and as a result of my role in media, I live with it everywhere.”
The personal pronoun ‘I’ appears frequently in the piece. It’s all about Tony. Clearly he thinks about himself a lot. That hasn’t changed in ten years. But there is no indication that he has thought much about others and the effect his actions have had on other victims. Buying your way out of the shit actually makes life harder for every other victim of domestic abuse.
Ultimately, this piece is all about what he claims is a personal transformation. But has Veitch done anything for others? Nope. Me, me, me, it’s all about me.
“Some will say I was a coward for trying to take my life, maybe I was.”
No. People say you’re a coward for breaking your partner’s back.
“I have never sought pity and I am not looking for it now.”
Which is why you’re writing a piece in a major newspaper justifying your actions and looking for sympathy.
Just shut up, fool. You’re not the victim, you never will be the victim. If you ever want to talk about your crimes, you should preface your words with an apology to Kristin Dunne-Powell. Or preferably, just stay silent and put some effort into thinking about the victims of domestic violence and put some time into helping them.
Maybe then you’ll really grow up.
UPDATE: Steve Dunne calls on Veitch to make a real apology:
In the 10 years since Tony Veitch broke my daughters back, she has rebuilt her life completely.
We are immensely proud of her resilience and the person she is.
We do not dwell in the past and we have followed her lead in moving past this.
However, I wish she was not forever more connected to this man.
I have witnessed her pain again today, on what should be a special day for her and our family.
The constant reminders of this public case also haunt her as she attempts to go happily about her daily life.
So, as Tony puts our case back into the public arena, our family question what do we do?
Stay silent, and just let it go … say nothing. Is that the best way I can protect my daughter? and other women in abusive relationships?
New Zealand Herald’s own editorial tells us not to do this.
“Silence can too easily be misinterpreted as condoning the act. More often, silence will be hiding the hearer’s utter disgust”. So the New Zealand Herald allowing Mr Veitch’s self serving propaganda (again) astounds us.
And positioning him as part of the solution is an insult to all true victims of this tragic issue.
If this “apology” showed genuine remorse, it would have been given privately to our daughter.
She has never received one. So who gains from this public “apology”? And actually is it an apology at all? Tony, to atone for your actions, you must stand in the complete truth.
This was no one-off, as you still attempt to mislead the New Zealand public to believe.
The other charges were never presented to the court, but they remain evidence of your systematic abusive pattern. In those files lies a very inconvenient truth for you.
Through Kristin’s charitable work we have met many former perpetrators of violence who are now White Ribbon ambassadors and I encourage you Tony to seek their help and support, so you may genuinely and deeply face your abusive actions, with integrity. And truth.
UPDATE: The following links are from John Palethorpe’s excellent post on Tony Veitch and related matters at in the back of the net.
Womens Refuge: https://womensrefuge.org.nz/support-our-work/
Survivor Advocacy: http://rpe.co.nz/advocacy/survivor-advocate/
Family Violence Is Not OK: http://areyouok.org.nz/
Donate to Kapa Whaea here, https://www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/kapawhaea