#better than this – a week-long series on family violence by the NZ Herald
The New Zealand Herald have put together a series of articles about family violence in New Zealand called #betterthanthis. White Ribbon commends the Herald for putting together such a wide range of views that focused on what is one of the most serious issues affecting New Zealand. (All content belongs to the NZ Herald and special thanks must go to Anna Leask). Click to view the videos and articles.
Five years ago Emily Longley was murdered by her ex-boyfriend. Her father Mark Longley (White Ribbon Ambassador) talks about the terrible toll of losing his daughter.
Editorial: Never any excuse for a man to hit a woman
Emily’s story – ‘The world was a better place with her in it’. Five years ago Emily Longley was murdered by her ex-boyfriend. Today, her father Mark writes about the terrible toll of losing his daughter — and the hope that her story can help others as the Herald launches a series on family violence.
Kerre McIvor: ‘The women drove them to violence. Bullshit’. Men who hit women are bullies and control freaks and they’re dangerous. They seldom own up to their actions and instead try to paint themselves as victims
John Key – ‘No one should have to live a life of fear’
Superintendent Tusha Penny has worked on the front line for many years so she has seen it all —the wives beaten beyond recognition, the girlfriends strangled almost to death and the countless women lying dead in their own homes.
Video with Family Violence Facts:
On average, police attend a family violence incident every five and a half minutes – that’s 279 calls each day.
• At least 80 per cent of family violence incidents are not reported to the police.
• Last year, police attended about 105,000 domestic violence incidents.
• If all incidents were reported, they would have attended at least 525,000 calls for help.
• Children are present at about 80 per cent of all violent incidents in the home.
• On average 13 women and 10 men are killed each year as a result of family violence.
• One in three women experience physical and/or sexual violence from a partner in their lifetime.
• Family violence is estimated to cost the country between $4.1 billion and $7 billion each year.
One in three Kiwi women experience physical and/or sexual violence from a partner in their lifetime. That’s a third of our female population. These women are our mothers, sisters, aunts, nieces, friends, workmates, neighbours.
Polly Gillespie: Growing up next door to family violence
Rotorua police are called to between 60 and 70 domestic violence incidents a week but local police say the situation is improving.
Police say there’s now an array of services working together to combat family violence but the problem is a complex, intergenerational one, and they are not naive, as they know many cases are still going unreported.
Video: New Zealand has the worst rate of family and intimate-partner violence in the world. Eighty per cent of incidents go unreported – so what we know of family violence in our community is barely the tip of the iceberg
No one is immune
It happens in the poorest of homes and the richest. Among the victims are our most educated people, and our most vulnerable.
The story of real victims. Some of this content may be confronting and upsetting. Please take care. It took her 10 years to leave him. Ten years of being hit, kicked, choked, strangled. Ten years of hiding the abuse from the outside world. But the night he almost killed her, that was the night she left. It was her son’s seventh birthday.
The story of real victims. Some of this content may be confronting and upsetting. Please take care
I was 18, I had just been stabbed multiple times by my ex-boyfriend, who was keeping me captive in a room that we once used to call our home. “Don’t worry, we’ll be together in heaven soon,” he whispered as he tried to suffocate me.
When a loved one chooses to stay “You think this is bad; it’s going to get a lot worse for you. Every day, I will follow you around and let you know what I think of you… I will make your life hell from now on. Just you wait, this is nothing. You can’t get away from me. I will destroy you.”
Men are victims too “Talk to someone outside the relationship about the abuse to get a different perspective about what is happening. Talk to your partner about it -if you can. “If it does not stop – leave.”
A survivor’s story – ‘Abuse is tiring’
Sometimes your home can feel like a prison. Mine did. It was a beautiful prison, but I was desperate to leave it. For me, a sense of isolation and despair was very real. I also had the responsibility of our children and their despair and needs at every level.
At 18-years-old the last thing you want to think about when you get your first serious boyfriend is about domestic abuse.
Even after fifteen and a half years after I left the memories can still come back and overwhelm me. He came from a dysfunctional family, had low self-esteem and was a heavy drinker. He never hit me but words and threats can be just as damaging.
Jeremy Eparaima punched, kicked, bashed, choked and bullied his way through a marriage and two other relationships.
He physically and emotionally abused his kids. Because of him his family lived in fear.
The abuse spanned almost 30 years before he realised that he had to change.
For the past 10 years Aaron Steedman has co-ordinated Shine’s stopping violence programme for men and works with people from all walks of life. He knows first hand about perpetrators because he was one.
Domestic violence is a male problem. There’s a sad fact about violence in this country: how safe you are is determined the second you are conceived. Your gender is the single biggest predictor of your lifelong risk of physical assault, childhood sexual assault, adult rape and intimate partner violence.
Church mentors help local men man up. “Sick and tired” of seeing stories about men abusing women and children, Harry Haira decided to do his bit to help solve the issue.
It’s never too late for violent men to change their behaviour.
That’s the view of Ngati Ranganui domestic violence programme facilitator Franklin Ririnui, who helps Tauranga men address their propensity towards domestic violence.
Why do men who kill their wives or partners receive such short jail sentences?
Family violence never sleeps or takes a break and those on the front line know that better than anyone.
Anna Leask spent time with police, Shine and in the Family Violence Court in Auckland City speaking to those tasked with responding to family violence on the front line, to give readers a ground-level insight into what is happening behind the doors of far too many New Zealand homes.
‘Behind closed doors it was like a war zone’ In 2004 I met a man who I thought was the man of my dreams. He was so nice in front of people but behind closed doors it was like a war zone.
Law reforms look out for desperate victims. Battered women who kill their abusers would be able to claim self-defence even if the threat of violence was not imminent, under reforms recommended by the Law Commission.
Helen Meads was shot dead just days after leaving a violent relationship. Since then, her father White Ribbon Ambassador David White has crusaded against family violence in a bid to save others’ lives
What can we do to fix the problem?
New Zealand has the worst rate of family and intimate-partner violence in the world. Eighty per cent of incidents go unreported — so what we know of family violence in our community is barely the tip of the iceberg. Today is the final day of We’re Better Than This, a week-long series on family violence. Our aim is to raise awareness, to educate, to give an insight into the victims and perpetrators. We want to encourage victims to have the strength to speak out, and abusers the courage to change their behaviour.