Youth unite to speak up about violence
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
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.