A father speaks: Tony Veitch's apology brings back the pain

Tony Veitch. Photo / Doug Sherring
Tony Veitch. Photo / Doug Sherring

On Sunday, sports broadcaster Tony Veitch wrote about the remorse he feels over his assault on Kristin Dunne-Powell in 2006.

Below is Ms Dunne-Powell's father's response to that article:

In the 10 years since Tony Veitch broke my daughter's back, she has rebuilt her life completely. We are immensely proud of her resilience and the person she is.

We do not dwell in the past and we have followed her lead in moving past this.

However, I wish she was not forever more connected to this man.

I have witnessed her pain again today [Sunday], on what should be a special day for her and our family. The constant reminders of this public case also haunt her as she attempts to go happily about her daily life.

So, as Tony puts our case back into the public arena, our family asks what do we do? Stay silent, and just let it go ... say nothing?

Is that the best way I can protect my daughter and other women in abusive relationships?

The New Zealand Herald's own editorial tells us not to do this. "Silence can too easily be misinterpreted as condoning the act. More often, silence will be hiding the hearer's utter disgust."

So The New Zealand Herald allowing Mr Veitch's self-serving propaganda (again) astounds us. And positioning him as part of the solution is an insult to all true victims of this tragic issue.

If this "apology" showed genuine remorse, it would have been given privately to our daughter. She has never received one. So who gains from this public "apology"? And actually is it an apology at all?

Tony, to atone for your actions, you must stand in the complete truth.

This was no one-off, as you still attempt to mislead the New Zealand public to believe. The other charges were never presented to the court but they remain evidence of your systematic abusive pattern. In those files lies a very inconvenient truth for you.

Through Kristin's charitable work we have met many former perpetrators of violence who are now White Ribbon ambassadors and I encourage you, Tony, to seek their help and support, so you may genuinely and deeply face your abusive actions, with integrity. And truth.

- Steve Dunne

What is family violence?

Family violence is physical, sexual or psychological abuse against any person by someone with whom they have a close and personal relationship.

Psychological abuse includes economic and financial abuse, spiritual abuse, controlling behaviour, threats of violence, property damage and causing children to witness violence.

A large proportion of family violence is inflicted by intimate partners and by adults abusing and neglecting children.

A distinguishing characteristic of intimate-partner violence and child abuse is that the violence can be a pattern of harmful behaviours occurring over time that can result in the victim's life being controlled by the perpetrator.

Family violence also includes abuse of parents by their children and covers abuse between siblings, and of older people by intimate partners and others.

The definition can also include violence by others who may share accommodation, such as flatmates.

Source: Ministry of Justice

Types of abuse

• Physical: including but not limited to punching, bashing, choking, slapping, pinching, kicking, hitting, biting, burning with cigarettes, throwing things, strangling, pushing, pulling hair, spitting, urinating, tying up, holding down, locking in a cupboard, using a knife/gun/belt or any kind of weapon

• Psychological: the most common form of domestic abuse in New Zealand and can be subtle and hidden so is often not recognised. Abuse includes manipulation, mind games, hurting or threatening pets, causing fear, stalking, taking away the capacity to make decisions, controlling or stopping outings/contact with friends or family, personal criticism, racism, lying, swearing, humiliating, brandishing a weapon, name calling, controlling what you do or wear.

If you're in danger NOW:

• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you
• Run outside and head for where there are other people
• Scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you
• Take the children with you
• Don't stop to get anything else
• If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault. Violence is never okay

Where to go for help or more information:

• Women's Refuge: Free national crisisline operates 24/7 - 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• ShineFree national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450 www.areyouok.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and Middle Eastern women and their children. Crisisline 24/7 0800 742 584
• Ministry of Justice: www.justice.govt.nz/family-justice/domestic-violence
• National Network of Stopping Violence: www.nnsvs.org.nz
• White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men's violence towards women, focusing this year on sexual violence and the issue of consent. www.whiteribbon.org.nz

How to hide your visit

If you are reading this information on the Herald website and you're worried that someone using the same computer will find out what you've been looking at, you can follow the steps at the link here to hide your visit. Each of the websites above also have a section that outlines this process.

Take a stand - NZ is #BetterThanThis

New Zealand has the worst rate of family violence in the developed world. One in three women will be subjected to physical or sexual violence from a partner at some point in their lives.

Take a stand. Change your social media profile picture to demand that we are better than this. Right-click on this image below (or press and hold on your mobile device) to save, then upload to your social profiles. Or you can download the image here.

- NZ Herald

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