Men treating women as important and deserving respect at home, work and in the courtrooms will initiate change for the White Ribbon campaign.
day is to celebrate? Or shine a light on violence against women in the Cook
Islands. An alcohol-free concert featuring father and son DJs where men could
attend along with their families was held to raise awareness and “flip the
script and change the narrative” to say no to violence, domestic abuse, child
abuse and exploitation.
is what the newspaper said. It holds all the right catchy words and paraphrases,
and this is how our Ministry for Internal Affairs believes is going to change
the direction by doing something to attract young men and fathers so they will
want to change the story – their story because violence is generational.
is generational gives the perpetrator an excuse to say it wasn’t, it isn’t,
their fault; “they just doing what their daddy did.”
It is the
type of reasoning defence lawyers jump on when their client is being charged
with hitting women with machetes, bike pumps or fists.
was live streamed to other Cook Islanders overseas so “they could share our
good vibes, high spirits and good wholesome event.”
At the end
of the night the event finished with a magnificent fireworks display. Nothing like showing a party atmosphere as a
celebration of White Ribbon Day ending with an explosive display of fire and
pulsing stars in your eyes.
sort of thing 25 percent of women in domestic incidents experience from the
result of violent abuse within their own homes, that are meant to be a safe
the police have tools at their disposal like home visits, police safety orders
and protection orders from the courts.
be great if they were dispensed where it was intended - for women and children
who have been physically threatened and fear for their safety; not to keep certain
family members off land wanted by another.
lawyers report seeing an increase in this type of use since its inception and
police officers have said they hand out safety orders like raffle tickets for land
disputes because you no longer need to prove evidence of abuse.
mere mention of provocation and pretending to be scared can elicit reason for the
police to appear at your workplace unannounced and stopping you returning to
your home for 1 – 5 days.
The no drop
policy is a good incentive to follow through on all reports made during the
heat of the moment, unfortunately once it gets to court, we fail most of our
If a man
pleads guilty to assault with a weapon and still gets off the charge, or is
allowed to travel overseas because it is argued they are a businessman, or is
given a get out of jail card to work on their business because their dad hit
them, then we are never going to get a buy in from young or old males that
violence for any reason is wrong.
they see it, they can get away with it if they play their cards or pay their
the idea is to encourage parents and caregivers to speak to their children
about courteous relationships, respectful communications, focusing on the good
qualities boys and men can demonstrate if they are raised in a good healthy
at home and it starts with removing words like “go help your mother with the
dishes” or “I am helping my wife with dinner by peeling the potatoes.”
should be ‘helping’ the woman in the home because that implies it is only her
the home should be participating equally towards the smooth operating of the
home, including children.
If the man
in the house eats food, he should be part of making the food. If he wears
clothes he should be rostered to wash, hang out, bring in, fold and put away
It is not
the woman’s sole job to be everyone’s personal butler. It’s definitely not her
If she is
working and he is working, why is it her job to have dinner ready every day? His mother might have done that for his dad,
but she may not have needed to help finance the family costs.
might have had a beer at the pub on the way home from work but 6pm closing sent
dad’s home early to be with the family.
fill them with alcohol then wash their hands of responsibility if they drive
drunk or lash out domestic violence once they’re home.
a White Ribbon for a day won’t elicit change. Men treating women as important
and deserving respect at home, work and in the courtrooms will initiate change for
the White ribbon campaign.