Wairarapa backing for NZME campaign

By Hayley Gastmeier hayley.gastmeier@age.co.nz -
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The NZ Herald is running a week-long series on family violence (www.nzherald.co.nz). PHOTO/FILE
The NZ Herald is running a week-long series on family violence (www.nzherald.co.nz). PHOTO/FILE

Wairarapa Women's Refuge manager Lyn Buckley has praised the NZME series on family violence, saying it will appeal to women who realise they need to make a change.

And she hoped to see articles rolled out that "directly spoke to the perpetrator".

The NZ Herald is running a week-long series on family violence (www.nzherald.co.nz), with two stories featuring on page4 of today's Times-Age.

Ms Buckley said it was unfair that in relationships where a woman was the victim of family violence, the responsibility to make life changes fell on the woman.

"We need to put more emphasis on the perpetrators," she said.

"When he leaves [the relationship] he just goes and gets another partner and the same things continues again and again and again.

"It's great women are getting out but he goes on to do it to someone else.

"That's something people need to be aware of."

She said unless the perpetrators learned how to change their behaviour, they would continue to abuse others, and she was concerned abusive males were not being held accountable for their actions.

"Unless there is a change in society his behaviour towards women and children is not going to get better.

"I think there needs to be a focus on that," Ms Buckley said.

"The whole society needs to say 'look that's not okay, get some help'."

She said people who were inflicting violence or abuse on their families, and those who were victims of it, were not always obvious.

"It could be anybody -- someone you know -- and it is heart-breaking.

"It could be your neighbour without you even knowing it."

She said controlling behaviour, including becoming suspicious and accusing the other of cheating, could be early warning signs of family violence.

"It's a gradual thing that happens -- it's not something that happens straight away."

The sexualisation of women through advertising in the media, where "women are portrayed as a commodity", ingrained a mentality that could lead to family violence, Ms Buckley said. "It brings about the attitude that that's what women are for.

"We're sick of being used to sell cars -- we're better than that."

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