When I hear of another child's murder by a significant male in that child's immediate orbit, usually some sort of family member, or the death of a woman who has suffered domestic abuse from the one person in her life she should be able to rely on to protect her from harm, I feel a deep shame for my gender and an anger that is and has always been deep-seated.
Anger at the idea that the male of my species is still, despite our evolution, capable of murdering his defenceless loved ones.
These murders are of course the tip of an unhealthy iceberg in our country. Domestic violence is a blight on this land that brings shame to us all, especially males.
My siblings and I grew up in an environment of domestic violence, either within our own family or in our community.
As an 8-year-old sitting at my dinner table one beautiful summer evening I saw our neighbour chase his wife from their house to ours, catching her on our front lawn and beating her mercilessly until my father and another neighbour pulled him off.
She was running to our house for protection after an earlier sustained beating in their home.
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The police locked the guy up but he managed, over the ensuing weeks, to inveigle himself back into his family home and to persuade his wife to drop the charges, a very common outcome for domestic abuse then.
This family was, like ours, a functioning and apparently loving family from the outside looking in.
Where I grew up domestic violence was known and ignored.
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Children were, of course, beaten often by parents, usually Dad. This was accepted as normal as long as it did not go too far.
When you are a child in a family where Dad assaults Mum either periodically or all the time it marks you in a way that can either make you the same or make you abhor such violence against loved ones.
My brother and I are lucky in that the violence we witnessed against our mother when we grew up caused us such fear and terror it stopped us ever thinking of imitating our father's behaviour.
Living with domestic violence as a child means you live with a heightened sense of foreboding whenever the old man is home late from the pub or when something goes wrong for him for some reason.
You know there is going to be fun in the kitchen tonight and it makes you scream incessantly inside with anxiety.
As the eldest child in my family I always tried, as I got older, to stand up to the old man with mixed results. Usually it made him stop but sometimes it made matters much worse.
I loved my parents and my old man was, for his time, a reasonable dad.
I hated him for what he did to my mother at times though.
He had issues and left the family when I was an adult, years too late. He was often not a happy man but there was no excuse for the way he acted.
Between January 2004 and March 2019 1068 people died by homicide in New Zealand.
Almost 400 cases, or 35 per cent, involved family violence.
Half of all women homicide victims were killed by a male partner or ex-partner.
A significant proportion involved "overkill" where the violence used was far beyond what was required to cause death.
One in eight of the 400 victims of domestic homicide was a child.
Children who are exposed to family violence are more likely to go on to commit violence.
They are also much more likely to suffer from mental health and addiction issues in adulthood.
The figures quoted are appalling for such a country as ours.
Many New Zealand males, never the most communicative and open of men, seem to be emotional cripples whose only response to challenge or upset is physical violence.
We apparently fear loss of control because we have been raised to be in control of all around us.
For many this means not having the skills to react appropriately when this control is challenged, especially by the women in their lives.
This begs the question - how do we raise our boys, many of whom live in situations where domestic violence is a real and happening thing that they struggle with daily, to become decent men?
How do we get through to many of these boys and young men that the behaviour they witness in homes across the social spectrum of New Zealand is totally unacceptable and wrong?
Some will not become monsters but sadly many will if we do not find a solution.