Peace on Earth and Goodwill to all. Not very likely!

Santa brought the following present last night to a beautiful young woman.

Fractured skull, broken ankle abrasions and a lot of trauma.  Her crime was to do her job as part of New Zealand’s thin blue front line.  The sad part is that she was doing her job to protect a mother and child.   This Christmas like many others violence will be a feature of the celebrations, mostly linked to alcohol.  Please note that I say linked to alcohol not caused by alcohol.  The cause of violence is absolutely linked to an unregenerate mind.  There are many contributing factors for sure, past trauma of the abusers, societal stress, poor role models, poverty, ill health, mental illness.  The list is extensive really.  We can wring our hands and tut tut as much as we like but  here is the conundrum.  Unless you are part of the solution you are part of the problem.

We need to become a society that abhors violence and does not tolerate it in any manner or form.  What can you do I here you say.   Well there are a number of things you can do.   Violence does not live in a sealed vacuum environment.  Most of the time when a child is killed someone somewhere knew what was going on.  Yes there are random acts of violence for sure but most violence occurs within relationships.

How do we combat this? Well we call it  for what it is.  We talk about it, we ask the hard questions bout those unexplained bruises.  When we hear people fighting we call the police, When we suspect that all is not well with a child we call Child protection agencies and share our concerns.  We can also reach out and befriend people and become a safe place for them to share.  We ensure that we teach our children, nephews, nieces, grand children etc that violence is not ok.  We hold the perpetrators accountable.

Holding perpetrators accountable is a much wider scoped concept that includes looking at the societal perpetrators as well as the individuals.  In my opinion if we as individuals know that violence is occurring within a relationship or to a child and we do nothing about it then I consider that we are perpetrators.  This includes mothers fathers grand parents aunts uncles etc.   If we stay in a relationship that is violent, allow our children to be assaulted then we need to be held accountable as well.

At a political level we need our leaders  to model behaviour that is acceptable and respectful.  Watch the zoo we call parliament.  It is a disgusting debacle and the behaviour is a pervasive cancer that invades our society from the top down.  There is nothing wrong with vigorous debate but what happens in parliament is well beyond that.  I encourage you to hold your representatives responsible for their behaviour and for their decisions.  Violence is institutionalised in New Zealand and the use of power is a huge way that it is perpetuated.

This abuse of power I have blogged about in the past we call it bullying but it is violence.  We need to be active in calling our representatives to account for their behaviour we need to stop tolerating it in our workplaces, schools anywhere really.  We need to become a nation of dobbers in some way, if we cannot confront the violence ourselves then we need to call someone who can.  We need to ensure that our representatives enable our services to deal with violence as well.  A fundamental rethink of how we view it is absolutely necessary.

This Christmas give the gift of life, take a moment to care or support someone somewhere who is working against violence.  If you know of someone being affected by violence then speak up or out about it.  And spare a thought for those whose everyday work is picking up the pieces and putting their lives at risk to keep us all safe from violence.

Take care everyone

Arohanui

Paul

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