Youth unite to speak up about vi­o­lence

Central Leader - - NEWS - By LAT­IFA DAUD

A dou­ble mur­der in Auck­land last year has inspired eth­nic youths to speak about the ef­fects of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence on chil­dren.

Shakti Youth launched Find Your Voice in May 2015. As part of the cam­paign the or­gan­i­sa­tion will hold a net­work launch be­tween or­gan­i­sa­tions, lo­cal boards and schools.

Shakti Youth was founded by youth from Asian, Mid­dle Eastern and African back­grounds with a vi­sion to build vi­o­lence free Aotearoa-New Zealand. The fo­cus of the cam­paign is to ex­am­ine the ef­fects of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence on chil­dren and to en­cour­age young eth­nic vic­tims to speak out against it.

‘‘To end do­mes­tic vi­o­lence we re­ally need to break that cy­cle with new gen­er­a­tions,’’ Shakti le­gal ad­vo­cacy and fam­ily so­cial ser­vices pro­ject co-or­di­na­tor says.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion wants to see ‘‘a fu­ture where peo­ple do not have to spend their adult lives re­cov­er­ing from the trau­mas of their child­hood.

‘‘Through work­ing with schools and other agen­cies in the sec­tor, we want young peo­ple who are wit­ness­ing vi­o­lence at home to know that they are not alone and that there is sup­port out there.’’

The cam­paign is in

Mengzhu

Fu re­sponse to the mur­der of Farhat Rana and daugh­ter Sidra Noor by hus­band Ishrat Ma­lik in the Auck­land sub­urb of Ranui last year.

Rana’s older daugh­ter Rida Noor will be speak­ing at the event to tell her fam­ily’s story.

‘‘I de­cided to be­come in­volved be­cause this pro­ject was ini­ti­ated in hon­our of my won­der­ful sis­ter,’’ Noor says. ‘‘Most do­mes­tic vi­o­lence sup­port groups only help the main vic­tim, leav­ing out the chil­dren who of­ten have con­flicted feel­ings of love and anger to­wards both par­ents.

‘‘Sidra was to­tally un­able to fo­cus on her school­work due to the psy­cho­log­i­cal abuse she was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing.’’

Noor says cul­tural ex­pec­ta­tions make it dif­fi­cult for eth­nic youths to speak out.

‘‘Eth­nic youth are mostly un­able to reach out for help as there is a cul­ture of si­lence around do­mes­tic vi­o­lence. You never talk about it to any­one and pre­tend to be a happy healthy fam­ily to pro­tect the fam­ily ties.’’

Also speak­ing at the event will be youth spokesper­sons for the Na­tional and Labour par­ties and act­ing chair of the Puke­ta­papa Lo­cal Board, Harry Doig. It will be at Wes­ley Com­mu­nity Cen­tre on July 23 at 2pm.

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