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Smell the Campaign.

Filed under: Domestic Violence,General — Downunder @ 3:34 pm Tue 4th September 2007

Spotlight on New Zealand Relationships
04 September 2007 12:43pm | Relationship Services

Deaths and Violence Must Stop
04 September 2007 1:04pm | National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges

Call for public to be clear family violence not OK
04 September 2007 12:16pm | Families Commission

New Zealanders Urged to End Violence
04 September 2007 1:29pm | Joint Media Statement

Family Violence is Hurting Communities
04 September 2007 2:16pm | Roger Ellis

Combined action needed to stop family violence
04 September 2007 2:24pm | Ideas Shop

Address to the Launch of the Campaign for Action on Family Violence

Individuals and communities are coming together to say that family violence is
not okay.


Renouf Lounge, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington

Rau rangatira maa,
tenei te mihi ki a koutou i runga i te kaupapa o te ra.
Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.

[Distinguished guests, greetings to you gathered here for this purpose today.
Greetings once, twice, three times to you all.]

“What can I do to stop this?”

That’s what we are hearing from across New Zealand when we talk about family

Individuals and communities are coming together to say that family violence is
not okay.

There have been so many people doing great work to protect people from family
violence for many years, but now each of us has to be an active part of ending
it for good – in both senses of the word.

Family violence has terrible physical and emotional scarring effects. Of course
it does, because the violence, abuse and neglect is carried out by people who
are meant to love you most in the world: husbands, wives, partners, mothers,
fathers, children.

What can we do?

We can start by asking this question: “Are you okay?”

If you know or suspect that someone is suffering abuse, speak to them. The
great thing about this campaign is that it will mean that asking someone “Are
you okay?” will be an invitation for people to talk about what is really going
on in their lives, rather than just giving a superficial response.

And it is okay to ask the question. People affected by family violence often
feel ashamed and isolated, so break the silence, show your support. It may
wellencourage them to find the help they need. And asking this question is a
message to abusers that there is awareness and condemnation of violent

We all need to look after each other.

Many of the families that we have recently seen involved in horrific cases of
child abuse and murder have been very isolated. They have lost sight of
societal norms because they have not been part of communities and not been in
touch with anyone who said to them that what they are doing is not okay. We
need to make sure that all people are included in our communities.

And this is one of the reasons that our government is working in partnership
with our community groups – they often have access to people and families which
government services can’t reach and build relationships with.

We need to identify and help children who witness family violence and try to
undo the damage that has been caused, and so that they know that violence is

Children absorb the behaviour around them and we have to intervene early to
ensure that they do not think violent behaviour is normal behaviour. We also
need to understand and address the fear, confusion and uncertainty of children
who witness violence.

And when we ask the question, “Are you okay?”, we need to be prepared for the
answer. We need to be prepared for someone to say: “No, I’m not”.

Advertising through television and other media will contribute to increasing
public understanding of family violence, its causes and effects, and create
widespread agreement that family violence is not okay.

We hope that this will motivate people in violent situations to look for help.
We need to realise that most people will turn to family and friends for this
help. So be prepared. Learn about family violence and know what resources are
out there so that you can help them.

It is also okay to make your beliefs known at every opportunity.

The workplace is good place to discuss violence and make it known that it is
not okay.

The media is a powerful tool for changing community attitudes, so use it. Write
letters to the editor; make sure that the knowledge and expertise of those
working in the family violence field is reflected in news pages and bulletins.
Use the media kits that have been produced to support local media activity.

And I appeal to the media, in your reporting of family violence, to place an
emphasis on responsibility, to celebrate the stories of those who have survived
violence and abuse and to celebrate the stories of those who have protected
their families from violence and abuse.

You have a huge role to play in building awareness.

All of us should use our existing community groups, churches, Rotary and sports
clubs to talk openly about family violence and direct people to services that
can help them – both perpetrators of violence and those who suffer at the hands
of perpertrators.

The voice of non-violent men is a powerful tool for change. Participate in
events such as International White Ribbon Day: the day when men wear a white
ribbon to show they don’t tolerate or condone men’s violence towards women.

Each and every one of us has a part to play.

It is okay to report abuse.

Family violence, as the Prime Minister emphasised earlier, is a public issue.
No one has a right to be violent and no one has a right to keep their violent
behaviour secret or as a “family matter”.

And if you are still not sure, just think of the consequences of not reporting
abuse. We have seen it too often.

I know that a lot of the time we just don’t want to believe it and people might
think calling the police or Women’s Refuge may seem like an extreme and
frightening step to take.
In these situations, the 0800 number that will be active from this Sunday is an
excellent number to call.

It will provide support, information and resources to help people understand
the impact of family violence and how they can make changes in their own lives.

This campaign will add to the raising of awareness that is already happening in
communities. It will support the great work happening at a local level, which we
have just heard about, and to resources such as Age Concern’s new video
specifically targeting Elder Abuse and Neglect. Seventy percent of elder abuse
in our country is by a member in their own family.

How much demand will there be? Well, we don’t know yet. I can understand
concerns that the demand will be huge and that we will need to put more
resources into the sector to respond – and we have put aside funding if this

This is just the start. The campaign will continue to evolve and move on to
address specific behaviour, such as intimate partner abuse and child abuse.

I want to thank all of you who work in the area of family violence; it can be
emotionally draining and exhausting. I am inspired by the passion and
commitment of all of you and I just want to take this opportunity to remind you
that it is okay to take some time out to take care of yourself.

I want to thank everyone in this room today for your hard work and I’d like you
all to remember the messages you’ve heard here today and think about what you
can do.

Family violence is not OK but it is okay to ask for help. Thank you.


  1. Warning – if you are male don’t take this seriously it only applies to women. These people have a confirmed position that only men are violent, and if women use force there is always a good reason.

    Comment by Bevan Berg — Tue 4th September 2007 @ 4:27 pm

  2. Bevan,

    There’s no doubt the campaign has already started – Mike Moore’s given that away. From where I stand, I’m only going to consider those parties that don’t generalise men as offenders and not part of their vision of an improved world.

    The list is currently at 3.
    1) You Republicans have made it clear that abuse of men by government is something you want to stop.
    2) Gordon Copeland has been vocal about the value of the traditional family, hinting at the constructive role men play in maintaining a civilized society.
    3) The Libertarianz make no bones about their disdain for government involvement in anything other than defence, currency and protection of life and property.

    Judy Turner is certainly making the right noises, but until what she says is echoed by the UF leadership, men’s concerns can too easily be abandonned for other ‘higher priority’ issues on their list.

    Have I missed anyone out? And are potentially 50+% of the voters that easily ignored? (Yes guys and gals, we can be that influential if it matters enough to us).

    Comment by Rob Case — Tue 4th September 2007 @ 5:27 pm

  3. propaganda machine at work by the uglies, what next…

    Comment by cb — Tue 4th September 2007 @ 6:05 pm

  4. United Future got the message last year, either you do it or we will do it for you. They didn’t take the hint. As far as we are concerned they don’t exist on the political radar any more. Gordon Copeland’s responses to me indicate he doesn’t have a realistic comprehension of day to day life, and I don’t see the marriage party making parliament this time round. We are not here for the fun of it, and I think people are starting to get the idea that we haven’t been hard at work this year because we like to waste our time.

    Comment by Bevan Berg — Tue 4th September 2007 @ 7:40 pm

  5. I forgot the Libertarians – they the political equivalent of Quakers — everyone can see what they are doing, and knows where they are, but who is running to join them.

    Comment by Bevan Berg — Thu 6th September 2007 @ 9:36 pm

  6. I’m growing more convinced that, as you say Bevan, Gordon Copeland isn’t familiar with ordinary people, if I can add that to what you said. He has done fairly well though strategically for someone who was never elected, yet with strong principle enough to split from the main body of his election and champion his way onto National’s belt. He has also launched himself at the issue of fathers’ rights – but he, as was Judy Turner on Wednesday in the House trumped by Steve Maharey. Steve Maharey is very slick.

    While you haven’t replied to my forwarding letter to you Bevan of Michael Cullen’s reply on the tax issue (the theft by double dipping), and that I have asked you to forward this onto James where I don’t have his address, no longer requesting my mail, Judy Turner’s assault on the issues of social disparity and the disaffection of gender (male) are the strongest by far in the House. She just, quite simply doesn’t have balls. I mean no offense because she has exercised more balls on the issue of gender disparity than any other I have watched. The boys are simply just too scared of the girls. They believe that to step out of tune would be unlawfully discrimnatory and they would be committing political suicide, as said Rodney Hide – toying himself with that notion for such a notable and vocal absense at the time to rally the troops.

    I have only heard one report other than those sited here of any other group working proactively to assist fatherhood back to its rightful mantle of value in the household – and that is from Maori.

    Relevant to this, it is important to note (as I heard just the other day) that the Family Group Conferences, which I know myself for my time as a social worker, are easily most effective means to deal with the broader problems of family dysfunction is an idea originating from Maori.

    On September 11th I will be attempting to draw the Maori Party into the debate as recognising first the need for our constiution to be embraced and recrafted best to represent social health. Maori will be from my experience, the first group to step up to that plate with ideas of the kind like the FGC. So I suppose the call here is a “watch this space”.

    Bevan and I met with the HRC along with a Maori representative from the Confederation of Chiefs of Tribes. we were discussing with the Commissioner the reconstiution of the country. Dan made a commitment to Bevan and I of a unity on teh issue of fatherhood. That we haven’t yet been in a practicable position as yet to realise that unity
    does not in any way infer that it will not mature.

    And the way that this road will be crafted will be through New Zealand First.

    In saying all of this and why it may read as alien, is that the hurdle faced for any party to overcome the feminists agenda is just way too big for politicians as they presently aspire. It is OUR job to lower the bar on that hurdle. Once the bar is lowered then the dialogue will mature and the “what is best for dad’s to get better” slogan will hit the streets. Yet it is OUR job to lower that bar.

    Comment by Benjamin Easton — Fri 7th September 2007 @ 11:45 am

  7. BTW, an important point I have to make here, because for my last comment, I was challenged some time ago saying that I was guilty of subscribing to the feminist’s way of thinking – agenda.

    If we all agree that men have been treated badly, damaged for discrimination and bias, then it is outright logical to recognise that this damage has had some form of negative affect on their health and well being. That means that they are in need of some form of repair. Recognising this is noty a subscription to any one kind of agenda, it is fact. If menz’ health is poorly then measures have to be taken to improve on any area of ill condition. If we don’t look in the mirror and figure out that we have been damaged and collectively need better access to health, then it is hardly suprising that we have such an impoverished social condition: is it?

    Comment by Benjamin Easton — Fri 7th September 2007 @ 2:04 pm

  8. Ben ,
    Our social policy has been geared up to destroy men since the likes of Kay Goodger and other feminist communists started the plot to destroy dads and the family in 1973 .
    Time to balance the gender scales .

    Comment by dad4justice — Fri 7th September 2007 @ 2:43 pm

  9. My interst Pete: to compete with the collated effect of the activity you describe, as it has been acknowledged in print (Sandra Coney (?) – Herald – some years ago) is that there is a national feminist agenda, applied and presently at work, and it has been implemented as a working part of the present policy development. I want to disengage this agenda, practically, non violently and with as minimal disruption to arterial politics as possible.

    I cannot fully remember the allegations but the group plotting as I recall involved Helen Clark, Margaret Wilson, Sian Elias and Rosslyn Noonan.

    First, I agree with you, believing that such an agenda is based from a mechanism of viciousness more common to women than accessible to men, and fatherhood is the direct victim of its aim. Secondly and obviously from this, anything that could or would damage fatherhood, for our naturality, would damage the child. This is pretty simple really.

    So saying that it is simple, then we collectively are left with a problem. That problem is that extreme feminism is presently in control, and traditionally, like anything else, once in power and in control, it, whatever it may be, is reluctant to part with its authority.

    Such a problem has many complications, and not the least of these being that inheritors from any power vulnerable to disassembly, gather, collect and prepare to deliver – usurping what is unpopular and replacing it with a replacement. This describes the proverbial swing of the pendulum, yet does nothing to protect the victims, who in this event are children – who in this event are sons and daughters.

    So in observing this, as I am, if we indeed are able to bring this simple perversion of social function under control, and if we are to stop the pendulum swing from once again hurting our offspring – how will this be done?

    I figure this is where everyone should listen. The task is about building the biological fatherhood into every family. We haven’t done that in our history. We should all do it – no matter: arithmatic, race, reading, region, religion or writing. It is alogical conclusion from our troubles. We all need to work to protect the association of fatherhood for every son and every daughter.

    Comment by Benjamin Easton — Sat 8th September 2007 @ 3:09 pm

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