White Ribbon day tackles violence
The door slammed, I could hear the broken glass. Then the car door slammed, the engine revved up and he drove up the road at speed. I could hear my mother sobbing in the bedroom next to mine.
I had wet myself and I was afraid. I crept into my parents’ bedroom and gave my mother a hug. We held on tight. I could feel her tears, her body shaking.
There were three large holes in the bedroom wall where my Dad had smashed my mother’s head into the wall. Followed by some smaller holes where my Dad’s fist had missed my mother.
The day had started ordinarily enough. Chores and jobs, inside and out. Dad had sat down and had a beer after mowing the lawn.
Then some mates came round for a few beers. We had dinner and we [the kids] were packed off to bed. Mum and Dad got dressed up and went to the club and had a few more drinks.
The argument started simply enough. Mum wanted to come home to us kids but Dad wanted to stay for just one more drink. That was 40 years ago. I still remember.
This Friday, November 25, White Ribbon Day.
The hoardings have gone up, Family Violence is not OK and the television campaigns start again to remind us of what goes on behind closed doors. We are encouraged to find a friend and seek help and support to break the family violence cycle. Reports have been produced of the damage done to families because of our binge drinking culture. Our very own rites of passage are being challenged. We’re being asked to stop and think and change our own behaviours.
The unfortunate thing is that 40 years later, I ask ‘‘what’s changed?’’
The police in Tokoroa, Putaruru
is and Mangakino have dealt with 780 domestic violence incidents in the last two years. In 1989 Parliament enacted the Sale of Liquor Act. This led to an explosion of liquor licences, licensed premises and cheap alcohol outlets.
At the Salvation Army we work with an increasing number of families who have been affected by family violence fuelled by alcohol. Yes we will continue to work and walk alongside families in distress. But we need your help to do that, as part of a new family violence collective initiative.
This week, as part of raising awareness, we need to look at the proliferation of bottle stores and liquor licences in our own community. We are asking the political candidates and members of the public from the South Waikato District, to sign a petition asking the Liquor Licensing Authority to ‘‘Uphold the object of the Sale of Liquor Act and take into account issues of social harm caused by alcohol particularly in communities with low socio-economic issues, when making decisions on the issue of new liquor licences.’’ The object of the Sale of Liquor Act 1989 states ‘‘The object of this Act is to establish a reasonable system of control over the sale and supply of liquor to the public with the aim of contributing to the reduction of liquor abuse, so far as can be achieved by legislative means.’’
Alcohol fuels many a domestic violence incident – see it through a child’s eyes.
This Friday, November 25, at 10am come and talk to us on Bridge St outside the courthouse. Sign the petition and be involved in this White Ribbon day event. If you or a friend is in a situation where you need help then call us. A listening ear and social work support is only a phone call away on 07 886 9812.