Honouring the memory of Patricia Ann McGrath
September 4, 2013
Patricia Ann McGrath from Northland died in January this year as the result of an assault by her partner, Philip Mahanga. Patricia was a 34 year old mother of two and a case worker at Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ). Her family describe as someone who was very caring and loved to help people; a wonderful and beautiful person. The loss of Patricia has been a huge blow to her family and friends, as well as the community as a whole. Patricia’s death affirms that male violence against women can be fatal and has a detrimental impact on many lives. The following article offers more information about Patricia: Click here to read more.
Enough is Enough is a 27 minute documentary produced by Dean Whitehead and Liz Inch in partnership with Patricia’s family, friends, doctors and police. It describes the awful loss felt by everyone who was close to Patricia and discusses the events leading up to, and following, her death. The three main messages of the video are: that enough is enough – domestic violence must be stopped; that it is important to speak out against family violence; and that people are encouraged to seek help, whether they are the one being abused or if they know of someone experiencing violence.
Patricia’s family reached out to White Ribbon to help support our anti-violence message, to share Patricia’s story with others and to create awareness about violence against women. Patricia’s brother, John McGrath, said that Patricia “is the catalyst for us to campaign and make people aware of domestic violence and to say no … it’s a powerful message.” It is terrible that it takes such a tragedy for people to become more aware of family violence, but the message that violence is never okay needs to be spread and heard by all New Zealanders.
White Ribbon asked John and Kate McGrath a few questions to grasp more about the documentary Enough is Enough and the message it sends:
Why did you want to make the video?
We wanted to make the documentary because, while no good came come from our loss, we would not have been able to sleep at night unless we did everything in our power to open people’s eyes to the trauma that family violence inflicts not just on the immediate victim, but on their family, friends and community. Being in the limelight is not something which we are naturally comfortable with, but change isn’t comfortable. It is a challenge. It is something we felt needed to happen. We had to make a stand and say “That’s it! No more. We could not stand by and LET this happen.
What do you want people to take away from the video?
We want people to get the strength to be courageous. We also want people to confront their problems and deal with them rather than letting them overrun their lives. If it helps one person to make positive changes, we have done our job. At the end of the day, we want people to feel empowered to make more positive choices which will achieve more positive results.
How do you think we can help to address men’s violence towards women?
We need to address men’s violence towards women. We need to acknowledge that it happens and that it is a choice that some (NOT ALL) men make. We need to encourage men to take ownership of their emotions and the choices they are making. We hope that “Enough is Enough” will do that. We hope that it will open the conversation and that it acknowledges that men are not only allowed to have, but should be encouraged to express, their emotions. One of the reasons White Ribbon is so good is that it is men acknowledging what is a predominantly a male problem in our society and saying “enough is enough”. Being a man does not have to involve family violence.
The video was funded by New Zealand Police, Ministry of Social Development It’s not OK Campaign and Northland District Health Board. “We could not have done this without them.” Kate McGrath