Hamilton Abuse Intervention Project (HAIP)

By Project manager, Steve Neal, Te Runanga O Kirikiriroa

The Hamilton Abuse Intervention Project (HAIP) was formally launched in July, 1991.

HAIP is a provider of services, including advocacy for battered women, education programmes for male perpetrators of family violence and monitoring of government agencies involved in family violence issues.

Tim Allingham is the tau-iwi (non-Maori) men's programme coordinator at HAIP and, as part of our White Ribbon Day feature, this month we asked him about men's violence against women.

Tim has had a varied career in health and social care but it is his passion for this work that brings him in each morning.

"The reason I do this is about giving information to help people make choices and making men accountable for their violence and giving them the opportunity to change ...

"There are not many safe places, sheltered and free of alcohol, where men can talk about their violence and try to change it ..."

It might sound like an odd question, but I am interested in the thinking behind the work, so I asked Tim what he thinks about men's violence against women?

"I think it's about male privilege and power and control. It's how men are taught and we don't often think about it ...

"We're brought up that way - if a girl falls over we cuddle her, if a boy falls we tell him to harden up ...

"As men, we think we have to go out and make things right, rather than hearing what the problem is and offering help if it is wanted ...

"It's a shame we don't do these groups at school to help people to identify strategies to make a difference."

During White Ribbon Day the emphasis was on men making a commitment to elimination of violence against women.

I see in his work he has that commitment, but what is Tim's commitment to the elimination of violence? What can a man do?

"I have to be prepared and be able to challenge appropriately any abuse I see and to stand up and be counted and say that it is not acceptable...

"It's not about having to be physically in danger - I can make a noise, or phone the police... if it was my mother or sister being abused, I would want someone to intervene."

Tim summed up his perspectives on it all by saying, "We must never blame someone else for our behaviour - there is always a choice."


HAIP can be found at 135 London St, Hamilton 3204, or contacted by post at PO Box 1905, Hamilton, 3244. Phone 07 834 3148, fax: 07 834 3149 or email admin@haip.org.nz.

- Hamilton News

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