Linda Hall: Let's end domestic violence

By Linda Hall

1 comment
Linda Hall is assistant editor at Hawke's Bay Today.
Linda Hall is assistant editor at Hawke's Bay Today.

While Labour leader David Cunliffe fights for his job after a week of political mudslinging and allegations he intervened in the residency application of Chinese businessman Donghua Liu, the reason all this came to light in the first place seems to have been brushed under the carpet.

Liu pleaded guilty to two charges of "domestic violence".

According to reports he "assaulted his de facto wife and her mother".

The same week an 8-month-old baby boy died in Starship Hospital after suffering critical injuries in Hamilton last weekend.

A 33-year-old man has been arrested and charged in relation to the assault.

The death of the baby "is believed to be a domestic incident".

Those words again "domestic violence". I know there is a world of difference between the two cases and I'm not suggesting for a minute that Liu would hurt a child but the fact remains both cases were called domestic violence incidents.

I also know it's election year, but bloody hell I think the death of a baby is far more important than whether Mr Cunliffe helped the wealthy businessman get citizenship in New Zealand so he could make big donations to the Labour party.

Every night last week, Cunliffe was on television.

The political spat got far more air time than the death of a baby and that makes me really sad.

We should all be jumping up and down and demanding something be done.

I'm just as bad as the next person really. I've written about domestic violence before but like everyone else when it all dies down I move on until another baby is killed. Then I get on my high horse again.

What can we do to stop this? I have been thinking a lot about it.

One suggestion is educating our young people before they find themselves in bad relationships.

Schools have graphic education programmes about drink driving.

Why not show some photos of the aftermath of a domestic violence?

Photos of battered women and children.

I know there are men out there that suffer the same at the hands of women but let's be honest here, the majority of domestic violence is against women and children.

Why not send someone from Women's Refuge who sees the results of domestic violence every day into school to talk to our young people.

Or someone who has been on the receiving end of domestic violence. I'm sure people who have been through it would do everything in their power to ensure others don't make the same mistakes they did,

Women in this situation often can't see any way out. Some are are too embarrassed to ask for help, some too scared and others sadly think it's normal.

If you are reading this and living with violence just remember you might be able to take a punch to the head or stomach and survive but will your children be able to?

Their bodies are tiny compared to yours. One smack across the head could be fatal.

It's not just up to the Government to put a stop to this. In fact they are really the ambulance at the bottom of the hill.

It starts at home with parents who show their children that violence has no place in any family.

It carries on with teenagers respecting themselves and others and dumping anyone who so much as lifts a finger in their direction.

So if Cunliffe does survive this "smear campaign" as he calls it, I suggest he and his party stop bitching and moaning and come up with a plan for harsher penalties for people convicted of domestic violence.

No more slap on the wrist and off you go home to do it all over again.

That goes for you, too, Prime Minister John Key. Help protect the babies who can't protect themselves.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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