The National Network of Family Violence Services NZ is urging people not to bury their heads to violence as some of the worst cases we have seen in this country are before the courts.

As the nation reels at the horrific details of the cases of Grace Millane, Amber-Rose Rush and Leon Jayet-Cole, it’s easy to feel helpless in the face of the senseless violence and loss of innocent lives, says Takarua Tawera, chairperson of the National Network Family Violence Services NZ.

You can do something

Stand up and call out aggression and violence in our day-to-day lives, he says.

“Don’t look away. Violence is never okay. We all need to start calling this out and walking the walk on this – in every part of our lives. We want to make it normal for people to say,

‘Hey, your behaviour is not okay – but there is a lot of support out there to choose a better way. I will support you in finding it.’”

Supporting our men and boys

As White Ribbon Day approaches on November 25, the National Network fully supports the Event’s Challenge the #Unspoken Rules campaign.

Unspoken rules are the outdated societal expectations of what a ‘real’ boy or man is and how he should express himself. Some of these ‘rules’ include:

Boys Don’t Cry Toughen Up Be The Man

“These ‘rules’ can lead boys and men to act disrespectfully or violently,” says Mr Tawera, who is also an ambassador and chairman for the White Ribbon Trust.

“We have the opportunity to use our voices to tell our them it’s okay for them to not repress their emotions and to have respectful relationships. This will help protect our community and help make an impact on Aotearoa’s dire family violence statistics.”

Takarua Tawera is a recovered perpetrator of violence and has worked in the Specialist Family Violence sector for many years. He is available for interview by contacting PauletteCrowley at kaipapaho@nnsvs.org.nz or 027 231 5970.

This media release was first published on 11 November, 2019