Thank you Dear Scribes #16Days

This is a call ~ and an acknowledgment for our Women writers, journalists and those Women who’ve worked to share the story of Grace Millane ~ with dignity, professionalism and a deep understanding of the many injustices this familiar, sad and painful story contains.

The murder of Women by violent men perhaps as old as time. But the promise of our news media and institutions respecting our victims and moving to shift our global culture from impunity and the normalisation of Violence Against Women, is a new hope and task our women writers have taken on with capable, guiding and resolute hands.

It is a virulence upon us, this sadistic violence perpetrated at every hour of every day and they understand that. Each in their own unique way have picked up a thread and have woven collectively the reality of the perspective our public and leaders must meet and see.

They’ve shone a clear light and entwined cold evidence with both the feeling of our nations women and the other chapter of this story, the peripheral rot, the further entrenched discrimination that needs be told.

It can be said their physical and emotional self has lived streams of anger and sorrow through their veins. Of this story, of the last story, of the next, they will one day have said to of told. Their understanding though, that this doesn’t have to be inevitable, is too coursing deeper with strength that urges on to run as strong as braided river women do.

Their vocation here is not easy. It is a surreal drudge through human terror and often it is work under duress. There’s a bravery in what they do. Writers too often find themselves under attack whilst engaging to expose that same pernicious rot which lingers and invades everywhere Women go.

Standing to speak, gathering together with arduous investigations and challenging the status quo, signifies a mark of deep consideration for our responsibilities, commitment to justice and sharing of truth ~ our story ~ of their intelligence in offering ways through.

The 25th of November is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, commemorated for three sisters who were murdered, clubbed to death, in the Dominican Republic for their opposition to systemic violence in 1960. Their names ~ Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa Mirabal.

Today also begins ‘16 Days of Activism’, a global campaign against Gender Based Violence.

The work of our writers, witnesses and researchers is crucial. They bring light to the dark, amplifying voices who’ve no platform or space from our world’s violence to move or breathe. The best we can do to support our storytellers is to listen to them, read their valuable work and carry their stories out into our world to help change it by engaging ourselves. We can and need to be armed with the information and perspective our researchers and writers as forward lookouts and intelligence gatherers bring.

From now until International Human Rights Day, December 10, please invest time for reading and listening to be a part of your activism. Look into the hashtags #16DaysOfActivism #16Days #OrangeTheWorld and #GenerationEquality to further your understanding of the root cause of this transnational, inter generational war on women and gender minorities. You’ll find reports, stories, statistics and solutions thickly woven by our observers during this time.

We have to eliminate the roots of violence and discrimination, structurally and culturally with haste ~and the truth, the real story which carries the knowledge and the wisdom woven through, will be key.

As it is, by the telling and retelling of Woman’s story, we weave and have Women Rising ~ we have all people rising. ~ Thank you dear scribes.


One New Zealand talk ~ #SDG5

The Weaving House was invited to speak on 29th October 2019 at ONE SUMMIT New Zealand. “Ten minutes each to talk about how they’re driving change towards a sustainable future from the grassroots up.” One New Zealand’s aim is “to educate, inspire and enable our transition as a community and nation to a healthy, thriving, diverse, carbon zero community.”

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Gender Equality in 10 minutes!

Amy Pearl of The Weaving House spoke to the challenge. 

Kia ora Thank you One New Zealand for this creation indeed a form of activism as is being in the audience tonight ~ and for the opportunity to share some of the things I’ve learned whilst visiting and working within the many spaces for advocacy in the Gender Equality field.

Some of you will know The Weaving House based here in Wānaka, an
advocacy organisation for Gender Equality. Over the last three years Weaving House has brought about 50 of our Women leaders and thinkers here for public lectures.
Politicians writers, experts in their fields of enquiry, philosophers and great
social activists. Women with ideas and solutions for a more equitable and
peaceful world. Platforming knowledge and experience is one of the
essential tasks of The Weaving House.

Set up in October of 2015 primarily to amplify the voices of New Zealand
Women ~ but working nationally and globally to assist in propelling a
message and movement for equality ~ The Weaving House was initiated to
help inform and educate, our media, politicians, public ~ to relay information,
stories, hopes, injustices, struggles and actions ~ through research and
news coming directly from our movement. Amplifying and weaving one
another together to help bring our knowledge to the forefront of public

Weaving House exists to support gender related organisations and initiatives
in a variety of ways, not always front of house ~ to help remove
discriminatory laws with legislative change, and to ensure the ones we have
work. To inform on how our community is fighting for our rightly due
freedoms against a long lived systemic and cultural subordination and to help inform on how our struggle for Gender Equality is related and intwined with social, economic and environmental policy ~ all in the hope this information can better inform decisions and guide what we can each do to help propel a Gender Lens into our planning for sustainable communities and understanding of the world at large.

Spreading the word and offering an understanding of what Gender Equality
actually means through the amplification of Women and Gender Diverse
people, a full time effort these past years…but instead of telling you ways Weaving House works to propel the SDGs ~ I yesterday decided to talk with you not just about this most integral Global Goal, I’m taking the opportunity to highlight dark forces working to muddy our understanding of Equality and its relationship to feminist movement.

Why Gender Equality isn’t a nice to have but a necessity, that our cultural
and value systems need to be radical transformations on scale with the scale
of our current crisis ~ including how we relate to one another and that radical
transformation involves removing our primary barrier to Equality.

I’ll run through some concepts and try to clarify them ~ a 101 of what’s up.
I’ve heard we speak at about 200 words a minute but can hear up to 500 ~ so
here we go.

Fact ~ Women and Girls suffer the most deprivation within all of the 17
Global Goals and are also key to unlocking the potential of each Goal. The
United Nations Development Goal 5 ~ Gender Equality in a nutshell is that
“Women and Girls everywhere must have Equal Rights and opportunity and
be able to live free of violence and discrimination”

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To achieve this by 2030 we’d have to eliminate the root causes of violence
and discrimination, structurally and culturally with haste. A gargantuan task.
We know Gender Inequality gives rise to violence against Women so we
also know that violence is preventable ~ So what else is preventable when
we’ve institutional and cultural systems of equality in place?

The root cause of Gender Inequality is a system called patriarchy, where the
powerful maintain their position by oppressing the many, all the while
utilising them as a resource to be exploited. And yes, men are oppressed by
patriarchy too. It’s a hierarchy one of self interest and maintains itself
primarily through the threat of violence.

Obvious forms of discrimination and oppression are ~ the wage gap, rape,
the cultural normalisation of rape, our lack of reproductive rights, unpaid care
work for which society depends, the division of domestic work, lack of
representation in positions of power and leadership, sexual harassment,
human trafficking, education, access to resources including land and water ~
the list entirely endless.

We know Women and Girls face rights violations in every town and city of our world
today. We are half the sky yet we are the majority in poverty, most of us are
illiterate, we’re paid least, abused most. We are majority victims of war,
progress, economics, domestic and sexual violence, consumerism and
environmental destruction.

The first to feel cutbacks in employment, health, education, social security,
welfare. State services look to cut areas we occupy before ensuring our
rights are secure. The right to income, food, shelter, safety. These things
make us expendable to the current system. We occupy the assembly line.

In essence, we have a globalised structure that consider women and girls as
less than with unequal rights to men.

To not forget the fragility, strength and youth of our movement. Marital rape
was still legal in NZ in the 1980’s ~ then came our Domestic Violence Act in the
1990’s. Many nations don’t have any protection laws.

We’ve still not our reproductive rights due to us ~ or equal pay ~ a greater
injustice yet for our Pacific and Māori sisters.

In 1979 we won what was essentially our first international Bill of Rights. Still
contested. In 1993 at The World Conference on Human Rights, our rights
were at last clearly recognised as Human Rights. By the year 2000 we were
permitted under the Convention to take our complaints of violations to the
United Nations.

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Our right to choose how we live in society as women is not given, we fought
for and justifiably won the right to participate and we are now operating
within the system.

The fact Gender Equality is a Global Goal is testament to the urgency and
respect we need to give this issue ~ which is by current data integral for
solving all major issues we have at serious crossroads.

It is also a great testament to feminists, women and men working within
those systems. We are no longer on the outside but we are treated as
outsiders ~ and misconstrued by misinformation and an organised attack by
patriarchy and one of it’s most destructive tools ~ misogyny.

Feminism ~ is the idea that we are and should all be equal. Feminism is a
movement of equality both for humanity and our environment. It’s focus on
social issues and their interconnectedness, of humanity as an ecosystem
and recognises the important and essential relationship we have with nature
and each other.

Women leaders are at the forefront ~ You’ll find Pania Newton at Ihumātao or
look to the leadership shown by young Women globally for our Climate Crisis
~ or our Women Human Rights and Environmental Defenders murdered each
year at an alarming and increasing rate.

We and the message we bring are feared by self interest and our current
position is reflected in the politics of today ~ as the acquisition of our rights
have stalled and in many places are being stripped away ~ and that dear friends is akin to a canary in the coal mine indicating further the rise of authoritarian regimes.

Patriarchy is a transnational, inter generational aggression. A war on Women.
~ and a war on the very systems which keep our life on earth viable.

How many of you are aware of terms such as Nationo-Ethno-Eco-Fascist?
Or heard the descriptor Imperialist White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy?
Terms both describing quite plainly the intersections and cumulative
effects of specific structures that are embedded in our institutions. Cultures
that have kept women in bonds and are currently ravaging our planet.

Ideas live in these terms. They inspired the Christchurch shooter, inspired
Bolsonaro to sell and burn the Amazon, the Polish government to raid the
offices of Women advocating for Reproductive Justice and have put in jail
women who’ve suffered still birth.

Ideas which maim, pillage, destroy and exhaust our peoples and planet
‘to dominate others unto death’ and each of these terms have at heart
individualism, the separateness of everyone, by class, gender, ethnicity, that
one group is and should be more dominant than the other, worth more so
more powerful. A pernicious system that destroys the best we’ve found in human bonds.

This is patriarchy and this is what our systems have been modelled through.
At no cost to them but at all cost to everything else. Ecosystem beware ~
And aside from wrong ~ it’s not a sustainable model and we need to
dismantle it.

Patriarchy use media well, their actions having real life consequences and
in the midst of our global information wars they tell us patriarchy doesn’t
exist and that Feminism and the fight for Gender Equality is done and over
years ago. We’re ruining men’s lives. They belittle and sexualise us,
broadcast that our movement is stagnant, full of infighting, that we lie and
scream, we’re neurotic, that we’re pagans.

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They fund people and institutions who fight feminist discourse, pay people to
threaten us, misrepresent our work, print and broadcast shallow and
demeaning stereotypes or platform people who don’t represent us.

They work within the halls of power to dismantle our gains and the rights we
have worked to garner for all people and planet.

Women are free some say, women are just as bad as men others say.
Gender Equality is not as important as Climate Action too many say.
Research, experience and what we say tell a different story.

The brilliant Mary Robinson notes “If we took away barriers to Women’s
Leadership, we’d solve the Climate Change problem a lot faster” She also
says the denial of Climate Change is “malign and evil”.

Our prevention from participating and being leaders in all spheres indicates
an unwillingness for peaceful sustainable outcomes and is an
acknowledgment of the threat Gender Equality poses to the status quo.
Now lets be reminded who doesn’t want equitable outcomes and lets return
to patriarchy and the ways in which it is blinding, separating and destroying
pathways to equality.

Today’s research shows a clear line can be drawn from climate denial to
misogyny, white supremacy to hard lined right wing thinking and the
predominant capitalist model all of which are born from patriarchy ~
A society where men hold the power and women are largely excluded.

So I ask you to pay more attention to Gender Issues ~ None of the Global
Goals are possible without Gender Equality. Step outside of the stereotypes
presented and ingrained by uniformed opinion makers with their made up
history and educate yourself through legitimate resources and listen to our feminist leaders, its a different perspective.

Ask yourself who made your thoughts ~ where does your perspective come
from? We’re all saddled with with the false histories of injustice. Patriarchy
wrote the playbook and helped some of us with blinding privilege.

The voices yelling at the top of their lungs are the tools of patriarchy. They’re
not hard to spot. They don’t understand empathy or kindness and
cooperation, they don’t believe in an interconnectedness of life on earth.

They believe the poor make their own beds, that the market can and should
fix everything, that war is an essential part of life, that there is no room for
civil disobedience and that denying human rights to our most vulnerable is
all apart of the hierarchy ‘the natural order of things’ ~ all born from
patriarchal ideals ~ They have vested interests that are not so great.

So when you hear people who have lost their social licence to talk on behalf
the greater good, politicians, corporations or media men like Mike Hosking
don’t buy in ~ they serve ‘privilege and power, not truth and justice’. I ask
you to switch them off.  Find greater and real knowledge elsewhere to
consume and back, because it’s now or never.

Our Climate Crisis has brought with it the opportunity to redefine our values
and guiding institutions, yet each of us have some way to go in our
understanding of this very real and important issue of Gender Equality.

So how to save the world ~ Ask her ~ she’ll say, “Do what’s right”.

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Anti-abortion protestors are using ‘free speech’ as a smokescreen for harassment

Published by ‘The Spinoff’ July 25th 2018 ~

Yes, anti-abortionists should have the right to protest. No, they shouldn’t be allowed to bully, intimidate or harass people accessing abortion services, writes Amy Pearl.

Anti-abortion protests in New Zealand predominantly occur outside clinics and hospitals. Some protests, or ‘vigils’ as they are named, are only held on the one day of the week abortion clinics are open. Currently in Auckland protests are every Wednesday outside the Auckland Medical Aid Centre. As I write this a rosary procession is being led to pray outside the Wellington Regional Hospital. The protests can intensify into sustained harassment during times such as Lent, when each year the anti-abortion organisation Right to Life holds its ’40 days for life’ campaign.

I cannot understand why our law, our institutions and our people are so unenthused about protecting the human rights of people seeking reproductive care. Our abortion law is still basedin the Crimes Act, but our laws still allow people to seek abortion services, albeit under specific circumstances. So why then are groups permitted to ‘protest’ outside abortion clinics and hound those with legal consent to obtain the health services they are seeking? I use the term ‘protest’ very loosely, because I don’t think what they are doing is really protesting. What I do see them doing is bullying and intimidating those seeking services they are legally entitled to.

To be clear, I’m not arguing against free speech. But free speech and protest can occur at parliament, in the streets, and at venues who’ll have you. Why should we enable intimidation at the doors of clinics? Is this what free speech looks like? I don’t think so. Is facing off with extremely vulnerable people a suitable way for anti-abortion protesters to express their views? No it is not.

We don’t accept this type of intimidation at other places of work or other facilities providing health care, so why do our institutions provide permits to ‘protest’ outside clinics and hospitals which provide reproductive care? Where are the buffer zones around our clinics to protect the rights of our people against a small group of zealots?A ‘buffer zone’ or a ‘safe access zone’ is an extended area around clinics where anti-abortion protesters are no longer permitted so “women can access the health facilities in privacy and free from intimidating conduct.” In places were safe access zones have been introduced, people in areas outside abortion clinics and hospitals people are now protected by law from harassment, intimidation and obstruction.

In May 2018 in NSW, Australia, a bill to establish safe access zones to abortion clinics passed the state’s parliament. Other states such as Tasmania, the ACTVictoria and the Northern Territory had already established similar laws. The NSW bill passed the legislative assembly in June and now makes it a criminal offence to interfere with the rights of people to access abortion in a safe manner. In the UK buffer zones are now being considered by councils as the number of protests rise.

New Zealand anti-abortion activists often boast of their ‘success’ taking abortion staff out of the workforce and share statistics from affiliates overseas about many abortion clinics they’ve had a hand in closing worldwide. The workers in these clinics are not immune to the protests. Imagine going to work each day and being told by strangers you are going to hell.

This is both a health and safety and a workplace harassment issue. As far I’m aware, clinics take security and the welfare of their staff seriously. But their hands are tied when it comes to protecting their workers on the pavement and in their car parks. They are not able to protect their patients from psychological stress or further impacts on their health. They are not able to ensure staff morale doesn’t suffer or that staff turnover does not increase due to the presence of protesters. How can clinics ensure the health and safety of their workers, as is their duty, if councils keep handing out permits for protest at their doors? 

We need to stop turning a blind eye to the way that pro-life groups are often allowed to protest – even if we’vebeen lucky in New Zealand that some of the more vindictive approaches to clinic protests haven’t been adopted by pro-life groups here. In other nations women and those accompanying them can be splattered with fake blood or have dismembered dolls thrown at them; they can be followed and filmed as they enter clinics. Threats of violence against US abortion clinics almost doubled in 2017. 

Closer to home, the most recent pro-life killing in Australia was in 2001. Security guard Steven Rogers was shot dead by a perpetrator intending to kill all 15 staff and 26 patients by setting a fire. In New Zealand the last major plot to incinerate a clinic was at the Lyndhurst Hospital in Christchurch in 1999. A protester who spent most of his days protesting outside of the gates of this clinic had spent his nights tunnelling beneath the clinic to prime it with explosive material. The judge presiding over the case in 2000 told defendant Graeme White that “you claim to be a pacifist but there isa certain incongruity to that claim.”

I’ve no doubt one of my feminist heroes, Eleanor Roosevelt, would today be arguing against sanctioned protest outside abortion clinics. Roosevelt was a great proponent for free speech and one of the authors of our most important global human rights documents, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but even she would see the absurdity and cruelty of allowing protest at the places where women access their right to reproductive care. She said “The battle for the individual rights of women is one of long standing and none of us should countenance anything which undermines it.” Many of today’s free speech advocates quote Roosevelt in their arguments – but it’s clear they don’t always understand her actual beliefs. 

This is where the concept of ‘balancing the scales’ comes into play. Golriz Ghahraman, a Green MP with a background in human rights, recently noted that “freedom of speech, like most rights, is not absolute. It’s subject to the rights of others, to safety, freedom, equality.” Universities in the UK are struggling with these new definitions of ‘safe versus free’, as safe spaces on campus are being used to shut debate down. New Zealand doesn’t have to follow their example if we continue to have our own debate around these highly contested concepts. Safe spaces are places where a group of people or an individual won’t be exposed to discrimination, criticism, harassment, physical or emotional harm, and we need those places in society. We also need to define where those places are and whether they should be enforced at all costs.

New Zealand had this debate as it relates to anti-abortion protest at Auckland University in 2015 when a complaint was made about the anti-abortion group ProLife making students feel harassed. ProLife won the right for their club to stay on campus and I was relieved for that result. Places of learning, by nature, should not be used to prevent the propagation of thought. Could a student body who has a constitutional obligation to support the rights of women remain associated with a pro-life group? That is a different question. 

If there is one institution that should remain open to debate, even open to offensive views, it’s our universities. They should be places where counter narratives can be explored on any topic, no limits, but always accompanied by the rights of the individual and the right of reply. As a feminist, I’m well aware of the lack of safe spaces – but also the way that complaints about ‘hate speech’ can be used to shut down debate.

In 2013 I joined Alison McCulloch as a part of her Pro-Choice Highway tour of New Zealand. She was ‘on the road for reproductive justice’ raising the issue of reproductive rights with public meetings and related events for her new book Fighting To Choose on the history of the struggle for reproductive rights in this country. That morning in the Wairarapa we set up in an alcove off the footpath in front of a shop whose owner had given us permission to be there. It was a productive morning with many unsolicited discussions, especially with women who had had an abortion and wanted to discuss their families’ experience of having been affected by abortion politics.

A representative of the local council arrived and told us we had to leave, “because there had been a complaint.”

We packed up peacefully and left. There was no breaching of the peace, no offensive behaviour or language. This wasn’t a protest requiring a permit. So where would have been an appropriate place?

We need to find the balance. We cannot say we supportfree speech and then shut it down; likewise we should always be vigilant of theloudest voices in a debate as they too often hijack the discussion and become the ones who end up setting the the agenda.

Pro-life protesters at the doors of our health facilities are my case in point. 

It is a disgrace that our reproductive laws currently stand where they are. While we fight to have abortion law to be removed from the Crimes Act, our justice system could show some moral courage of its own and impose buffer zones around reproductive health clinics. Our politicians cannot be intimidated by groups who use a false claim of rights to freedom of speech in order to perpetrate harm.

The law commission review of abortion law needs to look at this issue very closely. Buffer zones should be implemented and they need to be extended to GPs and smaller clinics. Anywhere a person can access health or reproductive services should be out of bounds. New Zealand’s laws around abortion already fall short of our human rights obligations, and still we must fight for our rights to access medical care, including abortion, which must be considered a health care issue rather than a criminal matter.

Anti-abortion campaigners are entitled to their opinion but they are not entitled to play a dirty game. This is not free speech in action, it is sponsored intimidation and I call foul.


Amy Pearl ~ guest writer on behalf of The Weaving House for The Spinoff 

days as dark as nights – domestic violence in New Zealand.

This perspective was written in 2015 & is being re-released by Weaving House as not much has changed. –
It’s a Woman thing…. days as dark as nights…..domestic violence
Amy Pearl
What cost domestic violence? The days are dark as nights. Sexual and family violence in New Zealand, as estimated by the Ministry for Women, comes in at a combined 6.5 billion dollars per year. Each of us would need to pay $1415 to cover the yearly financial cost of these two specific forms of violence. Women’s Refuge supports a higher figure of 8 billion dollars per year for domestic violence alone.
Most forms of violence are due to friction between opposing groups over resources and ultimately, to control and dominate another or many, and the power relations between women and men are the most fundamental of all social divisions.
Gendered violence produces itself from structural inequality and inorganic gender roles and remains a pernicious ailment of humanity at its lowest point, a disease eating away at the best we’ve found in social bonds.
Violence directed specifically at women is endemic across the world; the most prevalent form against women is domestic violence and dozens of nations have no laws against it.
Steadily the number of disclosed incidents rise and police estimate that only 18-25% of domestic violence incidents in New Zealand are reported. There are now close to 100, 000 family violence investigations each year. If we consider that, we can assume there could be a further 455,000 cases that go unreported this year.
Our courts engage with about 20 prosecutions of assault on women by men each court day, 91% of protection orders are made by women and we can currently expect the death of a woman in New Zealand every 8 weeks in a domestic dispute. Women’s Refuge receives on average a call every 9 minutes of every day. 
(recently updated to a call every 6 minutes – 8/7/2015)
There are too many variables muddying the waters for a clear picture to know how invasive this form of violence is. The most basic of assumptions is that the numbers are great and they offer us a minimalist view. A domestic violence case report might only refer to a specific incident or the worst of violent acts. How hard it is to document torment committed hour after hour, day by day and year by year.
Many women don’t think they can leave and they’re traumatised, enslaved and powerless, they’re broken. Women are too often subjected to wait at courtrooms with their aggressor and go home in fear. Descriptions of torment portray a battlefield with all the weariness and terror of the landscape of war. These are crimes against women, our whole community and humanity.
From the centre of a violent act is the ripple of physical, mental, social or economic strain, lives under duress and generations caught in the repercussions and cycles of violence. One hundred years on and we’re still living with the psychological detriments of the World Wars.
We can expect nothing less from domestic violence, this trans-national, multi-faceted, never-ending aggression. It is easy to estimate a global wall of remembrance of those women dead by a violent male hand to stretch far beyond the lives of soldiers lost in conventional state run wars.
There’s not enough coverage of any one of the violent acts upon women. We have to be keyed in or aware of the nuances to bear witness to the reflections of the various forms of violence in our nation and across our world.Just as the perpetrator of domestic violence needs the veil of privacy and intimacy to hide their crime, society as a whole has been cast in a veil of not knowing.Somewhere along the line woman’s plight is being muffled.
We need more comprehensive services to protect and assist women in danger especially as trends point to the problem getting worse.Look to Australia and count the figures, 2 dead women each week, in the UK a woman dead every 3 days, look to India and we lose 22 women a day, the ones we know of, Russia, 600 a month in their homes.
New Zealand has won a place on the United Nations Security Council, but what of home security? What of the international war of domestic terror? Not to be taken seriously when no one earns a penny from this war, women aren’t as precious as oil, trade agreements don’t hinge on a woman’s smacked face and globally it’s still a man’s world.
Women face rights violations in every town and city of New Zealand and funding for safety nets are shamefully scarce. How is it possible that we close organisations that exist solely to support and protect women and children from violent crime? How can we let services that prevent women from sleeping cold close their doors? Why is it the services we have must beg for resources? Without volunteers and donations women would be surviving in a dark hell.
Victims of violence deserve access to specialist independent services regardless of whether they report, regardless of whether they fit a confined criterion and can’t conform.
Science and philosophy state that the two evolutionary tricks humans use to evolve,  are language and cognitive structure; it’s here where society’s perspective on violence needs to change. It’s known gendered stereotypes promote abuse; condemning a message on the side of a rental van which jokes about drowning ‘the wife’ is a small measure but one that needs to be taken.
Everyday sexism needs to be expunged by everyone at every level, and women need to be supported when they speak out, not degraded and threatened with rape and violence.
If gender inequality gives rise to violence against women and gender minorities, then that violence is preventable. What’s wrong with our institutions? What’s wrong with our men? There must be a cultural deficit, a power complicit with inequality and an assorted box of institutional misdirection and negligence at play.
The recent case of the ‘Roast Busters’ is one example of the cultural deficit and institutional negligence I refer. The murder of the Livingstone children in Dunedin had red flags flying all the way to the final sad fateful day.
Perpetrators of misogynistic and threatening behaviour need to be challenged by more non-violent men. National and community leaders need to make the security of women a priority. This is a pressing issue and our nation’s people are being repressed. Where is women’s respect?
Our mostly male parliament should begin the process of public denunciation and commit to a world free of gender specific violence. Each Minister should make a statement denouncing what is a national and worldwide scourge whilst committing the government to turning the tide. Committing to not cutting areas women occupy before ensuring our rights are secure.
Not having state housing available for our most vulnerable is a fine indication of where current values lie and there is no justifiable excuse. What is our collective attitude for prioritising the budget towards social welfare against growing the buck? Money rarely talks compassion.
All due respect should be given the Minister For Women, the position should not be outside of Cabinet as it is today. Leaders of good standards lead by good example. We should never have a Prime Minister that pulls a woman’s hair.
Socially, the perpetrators of male violence against women need to lose status amongst their male peers for what is unacceptable and criminal behaviour. The conversation needs change, derogatory remarks usually beget derogatory behaviour, just as violence begets violence and on the story goes.
At what stage do we decide we’re beyond crisis point? Is it when more than one in three women have violence enacted upon them as they do today? I’ve heard said ‘things have changed’ and ‘it’s not like it used to be’, I don’t buy that, it sounds like defeat with nothing laid to rest. 
Women’s Refuge Annual Appeal runs in New Zealand throughout July Please visit their website to donate. –
Since publication Women’s Refuge have updated their figures to a call for help every 6 minutes June 30 2015 … far the ripple.