I know it’s not The Standard’s style to follow the media in the disgusting practice of turning real people’s lives into soap opera but there is a political aspect of the Veitch saga that is worth commenting on.
30 years ago, a story like this would have been swept under the carpet. Family violence was a private business. Hell, spousal rape was legal (one of the first actions of the Fourth Labour Government was to removal the marital defence).
It shows how far we’ve come that Veitch’s behaviour (and his pathetic inability to accept his fault) have been loudly and universally condemned. If only the media didn’t have to take it too far and make the whole thing into a farce.
On a related note, we will learn a lot about the priorities of this new government when they decide whether to continue to fund the ‘It’s Not OK’ campaign. The campaign has been hugely successful. In a survey, 99% of Maori, 90% of Pacific people, and 90% of all those asked remembered the campaign.
The message that’s family violence must not be tolerated is clearly getting through, and the Police credit this culture change with the big increases in reported family violence incidents. Family violence didn’t increase for 12.4% for no reason last year, it’s higher reporting and it’s a good thing. Fewer families are suffering in silence.
Let’s hope the government knows good value government spending when they see it.