Violence, domestic violence and family violence… too big to be ignored
As Annah Stretton gears up for her New Zealand Fashion Week show on Thursday she is utilizing her spotlight to help
change the face of family violence in this country saying “the problem is far too big to ignore”.
“While so many of us live with the ability to make choices each and every day, there are far too many women that don't.
There are far too many that have avoided the schooling system, for whatever reason, and without education their
potential and contribution to New Zealand society is unlikely to ever be fully realised.
Let’s face it; if you are born into the “power and control wheel” of violence in this country, you have no future other
than the one you know and live in every day and therefore will never make nor seek any change. The children being born
into these environments will inadvertently model the behaviours learnt within their community and homes, leading to
repeat behaviour and the undermining of the environment we all live in together. Consequently, there is an environmental
cost to our future families, not to mention the state cost for prisons, CYFS and general support services.
So is New Zealand doing enough about the escalating problem of violence?
The Government has a myriad of initiatives, organisations, and funding support should a person be eligible. And there
are hundreds of NGOs working in this space providing products and services for those that cannot provide for themselves
and most of these are doing a wonderful job providing the essentials of life to these women .
But are the government and NGOs (in many cases) simply giving fish when what we must do is teach people to fish?
In the last 12 months, with the work that I have been doing through my RAW, ‘Reclaim Another Women’, program pilot in
the Waikato ( www.raw.org.nz
) I have started to understand the size of this problem. The potential for us to collaboratively solve this problem is
huge, but sadly we choose not to. We avoid and leave it for another to fix, whilst we get on with the trials and
tribulations going on in our own lives.”
The Annah Stretton Plea – Charity begins at home.
“New Zealanders are supporting so many international charities doing wonderful things in developing countries, and
seeking local money to support this work. I think its time for New Zealanders to look on shore. Domestic violence,
poverty, drugs and crime is a New Zealand problem. As New Zealanders we have an opportunity to change this and as
individuals we can.
Taking an interest, getting directly involved, achieving results is the stuff that puts the heart and soul into a
person, and into a country. More than anything else we need New Zealanders' time. We need to get kiwis helping kiwis.
Those that know a different life can show how to advance and provide mentoring help to those that don't know. Those that
are educated, can assist and support the education of others.
With the RAW initiative, we now have 60 women that have come from severely disadvantaged demographics, often driven from
a life in criminality and incarceration, walking with another person, a mentor, via a journey of education and support.
These women are being shown a new pathway, one of success and opportunity, and the results have been astounding.
You can make a difference, a difference for now and for our future generations. I encourage you to join me in a mission
to disrupt the cycle of violence in New Zealand. It’s too big for us to ignore"
to see how you can make a difference.