Dylan is the deputy editor of the Bay of Plenty Times.

Editorial: Evil drug's effects still widely felt

1 comment

Shocking cases of domestic violence were revealed this week as support agencies reported a spike in P-fuelled abuse against women.

Tauranga Women's Refuge manager Angela Warren-Clark lifted the lid on the horrifying abuse in the wake of Justice Minister Amy Adams announcing new measures aimed at revealing the scale and impact of family violence and the number of re-offenders.

In the past six months, the refuge has dealt with cases where women reported they had been bound, locked in the boot of a car, driven to a secluded beach or forest location and had been threatened with death.

Read more: Woman escapes violent past with 'knowledge'

Mrs Warren-Clark said in a high number of cases the extreme violence was associated with a partner using methamphetamine.

"We have women tell us stories of having electric drills held to their eyes.

"Women who are subject to the most horrific sexual assault. Multiple rapes by multiple people as part of a punishment for their choice to leave. There is some very dark violence happening in our community - women who are being held captive and by the skin of their teeth they manage to get away," she told the Bay of Plenty Times.

Sadly children often witness the abuse.

So shocking are the examples she has cited that it is hard to fathom the lack of empathy these abusers show. How can you treat a fellow human being in such a way? Such a question can only be answered when the effects of methamphetamine are factored into the equation.

Read more: Special report: Tauranga refuge seeing more extreme violence

The late Sir Paul Holmes once said, methamphetamine doesn't just steal brain cells, it robs us of morality, conscience and love. How right he was.

It's concerning that years after the devastating effects of the drug were first revealed that it is still widely used.

This week the New Zealand Herald reported that almost a quarter of the 19 dwellings in a Christchurch state housing development had been contaminated in the nine months since they were built. It is not confined to poorer areas and has seeped into even the most exclusive streets.

Of course support agencies such as women's refuges end up dealing with the horrifying results associated with methamphetamine addiction.

The recent spike in violence has come at a time when the Tauranga Women's Refuge is struggling to make ends meet.

Mrs Warren-Clarke says her budget is so stretched that she can no longer pay her staff.

The refuge is allocated $185,000 a year from the Ministry of Social Development.

The scale of the problem is revealed by the fact that far this year the service has received 565 crisis calls but it is only paid for 320 a year.

The refuge will have to fight for additional government funding but, given the important role it plays in keeping women and children safe, perhaps it falls on the community to provide any support it can in the first instance.

No doubt, many generous locals already donate to the refuge or help in other ways. Women's refuges need the same support from the community that they give so freely to women and children fleeing a violent home.

- Bay of Plenty Times

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 25 Oct 2016 16:39:22 Processing Time: 526ms