- Gender and violence symposium - 11 December 2008
- Summer Daze - drink, drugs and rape - WHU Jan 2007
- Violence against women- WHW Dec 2006
- White Ribbon Day- WHU Nov 2006
- New Resources from FPA on relationship abuse- WHU Jan 2006
- Women's voices shape action plan on violence - WHU July 2002
- Crazy-making - WHU April 2002
- Doctors need to intervene with battered women - WHU Jan 2001
- Lasting legacies - WHU Jan 1998
- NZ Govt Health strategies - interpersonal violence
See also: , Sexual abuse in doctor-patient relationships
The Gender and Violence Symposium was held at the University of Auckland on the 11th December 2008 with three excellent presentations by international and local scholars. Dr Floretta Boonzaier from the University of Cape Town presented on the challenges to understanding and combating gender based violence in South Africa in the context of the structural and institutional violence that was the legacy of Apartheid. Dr Alison Towns, Director of Mt Albert Psychological Services Ltd, presented the findings of her research with young women in Aotearoa New Zealand which explored how young women understand and explain their boyfriend's controlling behavior. The young women explored the relationship between the way women are dehumanized and objectified in popular youth cultures including "boy racer" and "rap" culture, and the controlling and abusive behaviors of their boyfriends. Associate Professor Mandy Morgan and Dr Leigh Coombes from Massey University presented their evaluation of The Family Violence Court at Waitakere in Auckland and explored women victims and advocates experiences of the court. Research and papers by these speakers are available below:
- Dr Floretta Boonzair. 2008 'If the Man says you Must Sit, Then you Must Sit': The Relational Construction of Woman Abuse: Gender, Subjectivity and Violence'. Feminism & Psychology, Vol 18, No 2, pp. 183-206.
- Alison Towns & Hazel Scott. 2008 'The Culture of Cool: getting in early to prevent domestic violence', June, funded by ACC. To access this report email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr Leigh Coombes. 2008 'Enhancing Safety: Survivors' Experiences of Viviana's Advocacy at the Waitakere Family Violence Court. Research in Progress, paper presented at Just Partners: family violence, specialist courts & the idea of integration, Canberra, 22-23 May.
- Other research by Dr Leigh Coombes and Associate Professor Mandy Morgan is available at: http://psychology.massey.ac.nz/news/psych-news.htm
January 2007 Women's Health Update
Unfortunately sexual assault is a spectre that is always present in the lives of women. Sexual assaults tend to increase in the summer months. This is because summer lifestyles often mean women are out of safe places. Windows and doors are open and defences are down as we enjoy the freedom of summer days and nights. Unsurprisingly few of us think about what to do or what happens after a sexual assault. None-the-less few would deny that good sexual assault services and responses are vital.
In the beginning of December there was a series of drug rapes inTaranaki. Rape Crisis reported that the individuals involved were very confused about what had happened to them. Drug rape often poses additional problems as the victim is frequently confused and usually is unable to remember the incident clearly. Drug rape takes away your ability to consent to sex. The drugs given to you without you knowing clear the way for sex which you are powerless to stop, and which you are usually not aware of at the time it happens. The publicity around the initially reported cases may have
helped others to recognise that this explained things for them as well and come forward. Initially reportswere from up to eight women in the Taranaki region but Hawera Rape Crisis has now reported being contacted by 23 further victims discussing both current and historical drug rape cases. Read More (pdf)
December 2006 Women's Health Watch
As the headlines become swamped with more harrowing tales of violence across all aspects of society it appears that we have lost the focus on violence against women. Father's rights groups grab attention by blaring music, honking horns, protesting against judges and tell us that they are the victims. Meanwhile the policy discussion has shifted from domestic violence to family violence taking in an even greater array of violence issues including child and elder abuse. Television and media focus attention on the women who lash out in violence. Violence against women is no longer seen as an issue of power and control but is framed in the discourse of relationships. Fixing the relationship will also fix the violence. It's time to refocus on the violence perpetrated against women.
Are women no longer victims?
The data shows that women are still overwhelmingly the victims in situations of violence. More than 90% of applicants for protection orders under the Domestic Violence Act 1995 are women and most respondents are men. A recent survey of 2674 ever-partnered New Zealand women revealed that 33-39% have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from their male partner in their life-time. A third of New Zealand men admitted to using at least one form of violence against their female partner at some time in their lifetime. This is supported by overseas data such as the extensive US National Violence Against Women Survey which found that women reported significantly more intimate partner violence than men. Twenty-five percent of women had experienced rape and/or physical assault during their lifetime as contrasted with 8% of men.... Read More
November 2006 Women's Health Update
Wear a white ribbon on 25 November to make a personal pledge to always speak out aginst violence toward women.
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is officially endorsed by the UN and was introduced to New Zealand in 2004 by UNIFEM New Zealand (the UN Development Fund for Women). This year dozens of government and, social service agencies are working together to raise awareness of White Ribbon Day... Read More
January 2006 Women's Health Update
Family Planning Association New Zealand (FPA) has released a new resource to "help young people understand the danger signs of relationship abuse, and give them information about where to go to get help if they are in a violent relationship". The pocket sized fold-out pamphlet called "This isn't love - this is control" is designed to work with information and education provided to young people about relationship abuse.... Read More
2002 Women's Health Update
Jo Fitzpatrick reports on newly released research that uses women' experiences to develop strategies on ending abuse.
Dr Jennifer Hand, principal researcher in a ground-breaking study of violence against women in New Zealand families, believes it is time for action: 'I believe we are at a point in New Zealand history where we are not only heartily sick of the violence around us but are prepared to do something about it.' The study, Free From Abuse: What women say and what can be done, is designed to provoke action.
The inspiration for Free From Abuse was the stories public health promotion workers heard from abused women and the agencies working with them. The women in the study had all made the journey away from abuse and they identified the elements that assisted and supported them as well as the things that got in their way.
'This research builds on what has gone before to establish, in a systematic and scien-tific manner, the need for action and the direction that action should take, 'says Dr Hand. 'The women at the heart of the research are our best guides to what should be done. They have shown us how we can better protect women in danger and assist them to recover.' Maori, general and Pacific streams worked autonomously under one research umbrella, but research work and decisions were placed in the hands of women from the same culture as that being studied. Separate Maori and Pacific reports are available.... Read More
April 2002 Women's Health Update
When women say their men 'drove them mad', is it just a flippant remark or does domestic violence drive some women crazy? Cordelia Lockett reports.
Debbie Hager set out to investigate a possible link between domestic violence and mental health as part of her Masters in Public Health. In-depth interviews with 10 women who had experienced partner abuse as well as mental health problems formed the core of Debbie Hager's research. She also interviewed 20 staff in agencies dealing with abused women - police, courts, domestic violence services, mental health services, independent psychiatrists and academics. The strongest theme to emerge from the research is that abuse, especially emotional abuse, does make women think they are crazy. As one woman summed up:'I think you can be as sane as anything' and repeated messages to you that really are damaging can make anybody crazy.' ... Read More
January 2001 Women's Health Update
Sandra Coney reports on the recent New Zealand speaking tour of Dr Jacquelyn Campbell, a US expert on family violence.
'Family violence is a healthcare problem. In a health care setting, if one out of five women has been abused and you don't know it, it's because you haven't asked rather than it's not happening. Battered women have repeated contacts with the health sector.'
Dr Jacquelyn Campbell's challenge to healthcare workers at the recent Family violence: The hidden presentation seminars, came at an opportune time. Reducing violence in interpersonal relationships, families, schools and communities is one of the 13 top priority areas in the New Zealand Health Strategy and it will need new approaches from healthcare workers.
Violence has previously been left to police, justice system and refuges. Despite violence having been recognised as a health problem by the World Health Organisation in 1996, Dr Campbell said that violence against women is margin-alised, and there's a variable response from health professionals. Her comment that 'women are far more invested in this subject than men', was born out by the overwhelming predominance of women in her Auckland audience.... Read More
January 1998 Women's Health Update
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