Friday, 6 March 2015

Unlocking the Can Of Worms that is Domestic Violence in New Zealand

Forgive me if this doesn't make sense, but to be honest Domestic Violence and Child Poverty go hand in hand and both stem from a systemic failure in society.  How so??

I'm looking at the New Zealand model only here but assume that it is rife world wide in most societies, particularly western societies where drugs and alcohol are the norm.  This piece is not solely about domestic violence and child poverty, more about how society ends up with these issues.

And I intend to keep this as simple as possible.  Let us first establish the playing field.  Youth, more so those aged between 17 and 25.  There is a high incidence of this age group socialising using alcohol or drugs to form groups of common interest.  A fair proportion of liaisons manifest themselves out of this socialising and like minds seek like minds, fueled by that same alcohol and drug use.  People meet and mingle in usually affected states and soon relationships are born.  These relationships are usually wild and fancy free, no inhibitions, and no consequences.  Until two things happen (well one really).

A long term relationship might form OR be forced to form due to an impending birth.  Now here is the crux of the issue.  When women get pregnant, they not only physically change, but mentally also.  Baby comes first as does the prospective mothers health.  So she stops drinking and smoking and drugging and presents herself as the ideal role model for her child.  But let's not forget the father, it's his child too but what invariably happens in many cases is that although the mother has changed, the father has no need to and in many cases argues why should he. he's not carrying the baby.  And so he parties on and soon there is a gulf of alienation between father and mother and the path between them widens as years and responsibility go on.

This tends to lead to friction in the relationship and it only deepens as the gulf widens.  I'm not saying this is the sole reason for domestic violence or child poverty but I'd wager a good proportion of single parent families is tied to this analogy.  Mother changes, father doesn't or won't.  Friction erupts and the result is usually reported in the papers?

So the question I ask is it the fathers fault he hits his wife/partner?  Is it the fathers fault he spends all the family money on booze/drugs/smokes or other?  Is it therefore the mothers fault?  She after all removed herself from the relationship to have kids!  Yeah you see it too, Black Widow Syndrome/  Have fun courting, more fun making babies, and once the chitlins are born, safe and warm, eat the father.

So where does the blame really lie?  It is categorically not the mother.  It is equally categorically not the father.  Nope, the blame falls squarely on a society that requires it's young to meet and mingle in an atmosphere that allows a cultural significance on drinking and doing drugs.  If our young fathers were sober, as were our young mothers, they'd be better placed to handle the rigours of a relationship and parenthood.

Don't just blame males (and some females).  If there was a zero tolerance to alcohol and drugs then young folk would not only be better placed to have and nurture children, but we'd have a reduced Police Force as there would be less for them to do on a daily basis (and that goes with other alcohol fulled issues)

Yes I was young once, and yes I also drank as a sailor drank, yes I did have moments when my wife was the butt of my alcohol riddled body.  Yes we drifted apart (although still good friends).  Yes I write from experience.  Yes I am appalled at the deaths through Domestic Violence, especially those of our toddlers that seem to be bashed at an alarming rate.  Yes it's true, Child Poverty is not the fault of the Government, it's all about bad choices from adults that should know better but just can't, and knowing what it is like to be drunk I can see why these things happen.

I'm not a psychologist nor a psychiatrist.  I'm not a doctor nor an anti alcohol campaigner.  What I am is a concerned New Zealand citizen that not only cares about our country, but also the affected that live within it.  I don't have the answer (well I do but any Government that proposes that law change would be ridiculed out of the country) so for the time being I think I will make a plea.

I wrote this blog a year ago and it's my first step in righting the ship.  Click on this link in brown. Social Sciences in Schools - Responsibility  This goes some part in getting us back on track.  A Language can't save a life.

We have ante Natal classes to teach couples about the birthing process.  Why don't we have New Parenting Classes for young adults that extol the virtues of a clean healthy lifestyle and giving their joint sharing of those kids lives a boost.  When the're older and the kids are safe, socialise like there is no tomorrow.

Please feel free to comment or discuss below.

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