Protest at Stopping Violence Services conference
About 20 people turned out at Waipuna Lodge in Auckland to protest at the Stopping Violence Services 2005 Annual Conference. In an effort to draw attention to the use of Protection Orders as a weapon by some women, the theme of the protest was ‘Revenge is just an allegation away‘.
Several of the fathers I talked to told me their stories of suddenly loosing all contact with their children, even though there was no evidence of abuse presented. Most of them were forced to attend “Living Without Violence” courses, many of which are run by the conference attendees.
As the Union of Fathers bus drove by, one father shouted over the public address system: “If you take our kids away of course we get bloody angry!”
Ben Easton was interviewed at length by a Radio NZ reporter, and the protest was given good coverage on the one o’clock news at least.
Newsreader: In situations of Domestic Violence, blame is too often attached to the man he believes that more complete evidence needs to be collected and presented to the courts about why a violent situation in the home has taken place.
Ben Easton: “This is not to say in any way that any act of domestic violence is promoted by the men out here at all – it’s not. What were saying is that the cause isn’t being looked at and we’re not providing for the damage which is occuring from domestic violence.”
Newsreader: Ben Easton says the damage is done when fathers are unfairly separated from their children.
An unidentified ‘worker’ in family violence was given the last word: “the vast majority of victims are female.”
Listen to streaming audio of the 1.00pm RNZ news here.