White Rib­bon day tack­les vi­o­lence

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

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.

COLIN BRI­DLE

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