Tuesday, 30 June 2015

it's a woman thing.... days as dark as nights.....domestic violence

It’s a Woman Thing……………………………written by Amy Pearl 

What cost domestic violence? The days are dark as nights. Sexual and family violence in New Zealand, as estimated by the Ministry for Women, comes in at a combined 6.5 billion dollars per year.  Each of us would need to pay  $1415 to cover the financial cost of these two specific forms of violence. Women’s Refuge supports a higher figure of 8 billion dollars per year for domestic violence alone.

Most forms of violence are due to friction between opposing groups over resources and ultimately, to control and dominate another or many.  Women fall into both categories and the power relations between women and men are the most fundamental of all social division. Gendered violence produces itself from structural inequality and inorganic gender roles and remains a pernicious ailment of humanity at its lowest point, a disease eating away at the best we’ve found in social bonds. Violence directed specifically at women is endemic across the world; the most prevalent form against women is domestic violence and dozens of nations have no laws against it.

Steadily the number of disclosed incidents rise and police estimate that only 18-25% of domestic violence incidents in New Zealand are reported. There are now close to 100, 000 family violence investigations each year. If we consider that, we can assume there could be a further 455,000 cases that go unreported this year. Our courts engage with about 20 prosecutions of assault on women by men each court day, 91% of protection orders are made by women and we can currently expect the death of a woman in New Zealand every 8 weeks in a domestic dispute. Women’s Refuge receives on average a call every 9 minutes of every day. (recently updated to a call every 6 minutes 8-7-15)

There are too many variables muddying the waters for a clear picture to know how invasive this form of violence is. The most basic of assumptions is that the numbers are great and they offer us a minimalist view. A domestic violence case report might only refer to a specific incident or the worst of violent acts.  How hard it is to document torment committed hour after hour, day by day and year by year. Many women don’t think they can leave and they’re traumatised, enslaved and powerless, they’re broken. Women are too often subjected to wait at courtrooms with their aggressor and go home in fear. Descriptions of torment portray a battlefield with all the weariness and terror of the landscape of war. These are crimes against women, our whole community and humanity.

From the centre of a violent act is the ripple of physical, mental, social or economic strain, lives under duress and generations caught in the repercussions and cycles of violence. One hundred years on and we’re still living with the psychological detriments of the World Wars.  We can expect nothing less from domestic violence, this trans-national, multi-faceted, never-ending aggression. I estimate a global wall of remembrance of those women dead by a violent male hand to stretch far beyond the lives of soldiers lost in conventional state run wars.

There’s not enough coverage of any one of the violent acts upon woman. We have to be keyed in or aware of the nuances to bare witness to the reflections of the various forms of violence in our nation and across our world.  Just as the perpetrator of domestic violence needs the veil of privacy and intimacy to hide their crime, society as a whole has been cast in a veil of not knowing.  Somewhere along the line woman’s plight is being muffled.

We need more comprehensive services to protect and assist women in danger especially as trends point to the problem getting worse.  Look to Australia and count the figures, 2 dead women each week, in the UK a woman dead every 3 days, look to India and we lose 22 women a day, the ones we know of.  New Zealand has won a place on the United Nations Security Council, but what of home security?  What of the international war of domestic terror? Not to be taken seriously when no one earns a penny from this war, women aren’t as precious as oil, trade agreements don’t hinge on a woman’s smacked face and globally it’s still a man’s world.

Women face rights violations in every town and city of New Zealand and funding for safety nets are shamefully scarce.  How is it possible that we close organisations that exist solely to support and protect women and children from violent crime?  How can we let services that prevent women from sleeping cold close their doors? Why is it the services we have must beg for resources?  Without volunteers and donations women would be surviving in a dark hell. Victims of violence deserve access to specialist independent services regardless of whether they report, regardless of whether they fit a confined criterion and can’t conform.

Science and philosophy state the two evolutionary tricks humans use to evolve are language and cognitive structure; it’s here where society’s perspective on violence needs to change. It’s known that gendered stereotypes promote abuse; condemning a message on the side of a rental van which jokes about drowning ‘the wife’ is a small measure but one that needs to be taken.  Everyday sexism needs to be expunged by everyone at every level, and women need to be supported when they speak out, not degraded and threatened with rape and violence.

If gender inequality gives rise to violence against women, then that violence is preventable. What’s wrong with our institutions?  What’s wrong with our men?  There must be a cultural deficit, a power complicit with inequality and an assorted box of institutional misdirection and negligence at play. The recent case of the ‘Roast Busters’, is one example of the cultural deficit and institutional negligence I refer. The murder of the Livingstone  children in Dunedin had red flags flying all the way to the final sad fateful day.

Perpetrators of misogynistic and threatening behaviour need to be challenged by more non-violent men.  National and community leaders need to make the security of women a priority. This is a pressing issue and our nation’s people are being repressed.  Where is woman’s respect?

Our mostly male parliament should begin the process of public denunciation and commit to a world free of gender specific violence.  Each Minister should make a statement denouncing what is a national and worldwide scourge whilst committing the government to turning the tide. Committing to not cutting areas women occupy before ensuring our rights are secure. Not having state housing available for our most vulnerable is a fine indication of where current values lie and there is no justifiable excuse. What is our collective attitude for prioritising the budget towards social welfare against growing the buck? Money rarely talks compassion.

All due respect should be given the Minister For Women, the position should not be outside of Cabinet as it is today. Leaders of good standards lead by good example. We should never have a Prime Minister that pull’s a woman’s hair. Socially, the perpetrators of male violence against women need to loose status amongst their male piers for what is unacceptable and criminal behaviour. The conversation needs to change, derogatory remarks usually beget derogatory behaviour, just as violence begets violence and on the story goes.

At what stage do we decide we’re beyond crisis point?  Is it when more than one in three women has violence enacted upon them as they do today?  I’ve heard said  ‘things have changed’ and ‘it’s not like it used to be’, I don’t buy that, it sounds like defeat with nothing laid to rest.   New Zealand and our species have higher places to go.

Women’s Refuge Annual Appeal runs in New Zealand throughout July

Since publication of this essay Women's Refuge have updated their figures to a call for help every 6 minutes......how far the ripple. 


  1. SBS News ‏@SBSNews 8h8 hours ago
    Most Australians agree family violence is as much or more of a threat than terrorism: poll http://bit.ly/1LRx3ji

  2. AWCCI ‏@AWCCI 2m2 minutes ago
    This terrorism has cost more than 40 women their lives this year. Where’s the urgent response? http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/top-stories/family-violence-threat-is-greater-than-terrorism/201507055979#.VZoy5xuqpBc …

  3. Domestic Violence ‏@DViolenceRR 2h2 hours ago
    Top domestic violence articles from last 48 hrs http://rightrelevance.com/?q=tab_type%3D2%26searchType%3Dfeeds%26start%3D0%26rows%3D10%26location%3D%26isPerson%3D%26contentType%3D%26orderBy%3D%26value%3Ddomestic%20violence%26taccount%3Ddviolencerr%26time%3D1436227265.27%26trendingModuleType%3Dtoday …

  4. Domestic Violence ‏@DViolenceRR 42m42 minutes ago
    Conversations by top domestic violence influencers in last 48hrs http://rightrelevance.com/?q=tab_type%3D3%26searchType%3Dconversations%26view%3Dkey%26days%3D2%26page%3D0%26rows%3D20%26expert_score_threshold%3D79%26value%3Ddomestic%20violence%26taccount%3Ddviolencerr%26time%3D1436230802.84 …

  5. WEL Australia ‏@welaust 5h5 hours ago
    What is it like to transition into housing after staying at a women's refuge? Read more: http://ow.ly/PmDPN

  6. Domestic Violence ‏@DViolenceRR Jul 11
    Conversations by top domestic violence influencers in last 48hrs http://www.rightrelevance.com/search/conversations?view=trending&query=domestic%20violence&days=2&taccount=dviolencerr …

  7. Domestic Violence ‏@DViolenceRR Jul 11
    The Link Between Domestic Violence And Law Enfo... http://www.rightrelevance.com/search/articles/hero?article=446519573ddf1842451148d6e41698dcc095f962&query=domestic%20violence&taccount=dviolencerr …

  8. Rosie Batty ‏@RosieBatty1 Jul 11
    Indigenous Family Violence http://is.gd/926p18

  9. Notts Rape Crisis ‏@NottsRapeCrisis Jul 10
    Rape is associated with the most severe cases of domestic violence, and is a risk factor for domestic homicide.

  10. Louise Pennington ‏@LeStewpot Jul 10
    Gender is all too relevant in violence statistics http://everydayvictimblaming.com/activism/gender-is-all-too-relevant-in-violence-statistics/ … via @EVB_Now

  11. chrissie russell ‏@chrissierussell Jul 9
    Domestic violence: Are we doing enough for women in abusive relationships? http://www.independent.ie/life/health-wellbeing/mental-health/domestic-violence-are-we-doing-enough-for-women-in-abusive-relationships-31362576.html … via @Independent_ie @Womens_Aid

  12. Cathy Kelly ‏@cathykellybooks Jul 9
    @Womens_Aid Stats on women who report abuse so shockingly low

  13. Women's Aid Ireland ‏@Womens_Aid Jul 9
    Our website is a vital resource on abuse http://www.womensaid.ie . We saw a 240% traffic increase on Tuesday, the day Emma's video went viral

  14. Jo Cavanagh OAM ‏@JoCavanaghAU Jul 9 Melbourne, Victoria
    An open letter to The Australian Financial Review http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/opinions/an-open-letter-to-the-australian-financial-review/201507075990#.VZ2KxxQmzvg.twitter … via @womensagenda #100WOI @Westpac @WhiteRibbonAust Thoughts?

  15. QAILS Inc ‏@qails Jul 9
    Our director @_JamesFarrell in @the_daily, welcoming domestic violence court to be trialled in Queensland http://m.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/trial-for-dv-court-looms/2699139/ …

  16. White Ribbon NZ ‏@WhiteRibbonNZ Jul 9
    Speaking out can be very hard. Emma Murphy talks about her own experiences with family violence. Kia Kaha. http://fb.me/2izDq3TKy

  17. UN Women ‏@UN_Women Jul 9
    13 years after the fall of the Taliban, 90% of women in #Afghanistan still face threats of violence. http://ow.ly/PiN6h via @AJenglish

  18. Caitlin Roper ‏@caitlin_roper Jul 9
    Gender is all too relevant in violence statistics | Letters http://gu.com/p/4aejf/stw #nametheproblem #maleviolence

  19. moobaulch ‏@moobaulch Jul 9
    Fitness blogger Emma Murphy shares shocking video with Facebook followers - http://m.smh.com.au/x/gi7fnw?stb=twt … via @smh @DV_NSW

  20. Women's Agenda ‏@WomensAgenda Jul 9
    An Irish blogger & mother has opened up to her followers about the pain & shame of domestic violence. http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/world-of-women/emma-murphy-this-is-how-domestic-violence-looks/201507085994 …

  21. Fair Deal for Women ‏@fairdeal2015 Jul 9
    Cutting housing benefit for young women could trap them in violent relationships. 50% of recipients are single women #budget2015

  22. Refuge ‏@RefugeCharity Jul 8
    “This money is only a stop-gap”: Refuge calls for long-term help for women in danger http://empowering.hearst.co.uk/be-informed/domestic-violence-charity-refuge-on-george-osbornes-budget/ … #budget2015 @HearstWomen

  23. WelshWomensAid ‏@WelshWomensAid Jul 8
    West Wales Women's Aid £30k funding spared after successful campaign to protect vital services! http://ow.ly/Pk7Lc @RachaelEagles

  24. Wikigender ‏@Wikigender Jul 8
    Confronting violence against women in #LAC #VAW 2013-2014 Annual Report http://bit.ly/1Rk8izK @eclac_un

  25. eva cox ‏@evacox Jul 8
    The lack of feminist viewpoints is more damaging! How the lack of women in cabinet is hurting us all http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-opinion/how-do-we-correct-the-gender-imbalance-in-politics-20150707-gi7e33.html … via @DailyLifeAU

  26. UN Women ‏@UN_Women Jul 8
    What kinds of policies help advance #genderequality? Our new discussion paper offers perspectives on moving forward: http://owl.li/PfOKY

  27. IWDA ‏@iwda Jul 8
    Australia has the 6th lowest percentage of women ministers of all the OECD countries http://bit.ly/1JSXfa2

  28. Jenna Price ‏@JennaPrice Jul 8 Sydney, New South Wales
    Think it doesn't matter that there are so few #women in #Cabinet? Think Lehman Sisters. #auspol http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-opinion/how-do-we-correct-the-gender-imbalance-in-politics-20150707-gi7e33.html …

  29. Enough is Enough AVM ‏@EIEAntiViolence Jul 8
    Inside a women's refuge: 'I told him we were going to the library - we never came back' http://fb.me/7r4gDodJs

  30. Soraya Chemaly ‏@schemaly Jul 8 Washington, DC
    In NY? Join @BreakthroughUS for this year's Dudes Against Violence Against Women: Because DUH, on Aug 19

  31. Katherine Clark ‏@RepKClark Jul 8
    Women fighting to end intolerance constantly receive severe online threats. Our effort to protect their privacy: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/07/07/piracy-concerns-threaten-domain-name-privacy/29825455/ …

  32. White Ribbon ‏@WhiteRibbonAust Jul 8
    Thank you Postie Bike Pat for taking the message about #violenceagainstwomen to Cape York! #Amazing @Aus_AirForce

  33. Gladys Yegon ‏@YegonGladys Jul 7
    Women and children not only statistics to measure failure of institutions; they are bedrocks of the community @vanyaradzayi @worldywca

  34. The Age ‏@theage Jul 7
    Australia's percentage of women ministers ain't top of the charts http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/sixthworst-in-the-world-the-gender-charts-that-shame-the-abbott-government-20150707-gi6m1y.html …

  35. Domestic Violence ‏@DViolenceRR Jul 7
    Domestic Violence: Whose problem is it? | Stalk... http://rightrelevance.com/tw/dviolencerr/b19ed9f6a19b07248702931c73c12b64b54265be/domestic%20violence/domestic%20violence …

  36. NCWNZ ‏@ncwnz Jul 7
    NCWNZ retweeted Polly is a nice name
    Figures are from the Family Violence Death Review Committee. Thx for sharing @__catpower NCWNZ added,

    Polly is a nice name @__catpower
    Want to know what figures are for NZ? From 2009-2012, 126 Family Violence Deaths. How many from terrorism again?

  37. NCWNZ ‏@ncwnz Jul 8
    @msvote great piece, thanks for sharing!

  38. Polly is a nice name ‏@__catpower Jul 7
    Want to know what figures are for NZ? From 2009-2012, 126 Family Violence Deaths. How many from terrorism again? pic.twitter.com/bhhmvXkIRL

  39. Polly is a nice name ‏@__catpower Jul 7
    Seeing that number is kind of jarring.
    Esp knowing how much of a village New Zealand is.

  40. Kara Beavis ‏@karsybee Jul 7
    New video: Family violence crisis. But services still having to turn away women in need. Watch now https://fairagenda.org/family_violence_services …

  41. Dame QC ‏@ChristineEwing7 Jul 7 Melbourne, Victoria
    The saddest hashtag #CountingDeadWomen Australia's national emergency. #auspol

  42. NOM*d ‏@NOMd_nz Jul 7
    The Dunedin Women's Refuge Appeals Evening is for an excellent cause and will be well worth attending! Details here: http://on.fb.me/1IGayvJ

  43. Guardian Australia ‏@GuardianAus Jul 7
    Victoria allocates $4m to help growing number of domestic violence victims http://trib.al/YDotWln

  44. ABC News Brisbane ‏@ABCNewsBrisbane Jul 7
    Domestic and Family Violence Magistrates Court to be trialled on Gold Coast http://ab.co/1HciPW6 #qldpol

  45. AWCCI ‏@AWCCI Jul 7
    This terrorism has cost more than 40 women their lives this year. Where’s the urgent response? http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/top-stories/family-violence-threat-is-greater-than-terrorism/201507055979#.VZoy5xuqpBc …

  46. NNEDV ‏@nnedv Jul 7
    “In states the require background checks for all handgun sales, 40+% fewer women are killed.” http://buff.ly/1HaHEBK

  47. Helen Clark ‏@HelenClarkUNDP Jul 7
    Issue of whether #Tonga will ratify #CEDAW is to be put to a referendum. This is a core @UN #humanrights convention. http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/278104/tonga-pm-says-cedaw-issue-will-be-put-to-public-vote …

  48. AWHN ‏@AWHealthNetwork Jul 7
    Domestic Terrorism, a bigger threat than terrorism
    #domesticviolence #neveralone #ourwatch #makethelink http://fb.me/6zhuZpPP8

  49. YWCA Victoria ‏@ywcavic Jul 7
    Nearly 50 women are dead as a result of DV & getting refuge is "like winning the lottery." http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/domestic-violence-centres-full-workers-scared-to-criticise-government-20150704-gi4j58.html …

  50. AusHumanRights ‏@AusHumanRights Jul 7
    Major #HumanRights event in #Sydney 13 July with @RosieBatty1 RSVP: …https://australiansoftheyear2015.eventbrite.com.au #AusLaw #AusPol

  51. Sydney Feminists ‏@SydneyFeminists Jul 7
    Aussies see #domesticviolence as greater threat than terrorism. But services still under-funded. Join the campaign: http://www.fairagenda.org/family_vilence_services …

  52. Phoenix Utters ‏@PhoenixUtters Jul 7
    Why does the #auspol government focus so much on terrorism & not #DV?
    Well few terrorists vote in Aus, but plenty of violent men do!

  53. Miki Perkins ‏@perkinsmiki Jul 7
    A powerful front page to kick off our #familyviolence coverage @theage today in the lead up to the Royal Commission.

  54. Domestic Violence ‏@DViolenceRR Jul 7
    U.N. Envoy Draws on Her Own Past to Help Abused Women http://rightrelevance.com/tw/dviolencerr/ec62b4a5d00b4918cc26ac9504c331cd9353afb1/domestic%20violence/domestic%20violence …

  55. WIIS NZ ‏@WIIS_NZ Jul 7
    WIIS NZ retweeted a.pearl
    Australian poll: Nearly 75% Australians agree family violence is as much or more of a threat than terrorism. NZ? WIIS NZ added,
    a.pearl @msvote
    @WIIS_NZ .domestic violence..days as dark as nights...our stats..my words. http://femalefrequency.blogspot.co.nz/2015/06/its-woman-thing-days-are-as-dark-as.html …

  56. WIIS NZ ‏@WIIS_NZ Jul 7
    Tonga to vote on signing of UN Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women http://rnz.to/1HbaMsz

  57. Katherine Clark ‏@RepKClark Jul 7
    We must protect the online privacy of domestic violence shelters, human rights activists & other targets of abuse http://katherineclark.house.gov/index.cfm/2015/7/clark-urges-domain-registration-privacy-to-protect-targets-of-threats-and-abuse …

  58. Futures w/o Violence ‏@WithoutViolence Jul 7
    ‘Why Didn't You Just Leave?’ -- 6 #domesticviolence survivors explain why it’s never that simple http://huff.to/1ELUSk6 via @HuffPostWomen

  59. Refuge ‏@RefugeCharity Jul 7
    Incredibly inspiring women in Sri Lanka fighting back to end domestic violence: https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/yasmin-gunaratnam/sick-and-tired-sri-lankan-domestic-workers-fight-back-against-violence …

  60. OECD ‏@OECD Jul 7
    On avg only 30% of ministerial posts are held by #women; compare your country http://bit.ly/1CTLVp5 #government

  61. Women's Refuge NZ ‏@womensrefugenz Jul 6
    As Dame Whina Cooper said: "Take care of our children. Take care of what they hear, take care of what they see,... http://fb.me/33q8gxeWd

  62. Domestic Violence ‏@DViolenceRR Jul 6
    Domestic violence a bigger threat than terrorism, poll shows http://rightrelevance.com/tw/dviolencerr/57957198c6e2ae3cc594f0cb3e526923026e10cd/domestic%20violence/domestic%20violence …

  63. Jill Nicholls ‏@JillNicholls01 Jul 6
    Women escaping violent husbands/families in Afghanistan - 25 min film - incl #Farkhunda case https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkanAs-KGFg … via @AJ101East

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  65. Mamamia ‏@Mamamia Jul 6
    The Government is spending millions on the war on terrorism, but that’s not what Australians fear the most. http://bit.ly/1IDRGh0

  66. The Ruminator ‏@RuminatorNZ Jul 6
    Some sad but important words on the tragedy of domestic violence in NZ from @msvote.
    http://femalefrequency.blogspot.co.nz/2015/06/its-woman-thing-days-are-as-dark-as.html …

  67. Kon Karapanagiotidis ‏@Kon__K Jul 6
    Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a minute of silence for the 49 women murdered in 2015 so far, before every @AFL game next week. #auspol

  68. MARD ‏@MardOfficial Jul 6
    .@kalkikanmani, "We have to educate girls, but we also have to educate boys about the fact that girls are equal."

  69. Lady Willpower ‏@seearjay Jul 6
    Poll finds family violence is a greater fear than terrorism http://gu.com/p/4acmd/stw Gee, has Tony got his priorities all wrong again? #auspol

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