Here's an excerpt from a speech given by Lianne Dalziel, Minister of Women's Affairs, on Saturday (not that you would know it - I had to read through to the end to discover who was delivering it). A violence free society is a utopian idea. It will never be achieved but is used to justify all manner of a vain attempts. She should go back and take a look at the speeches given by moralists and prohibitionists a hundred and more years ago. Dream on Dalziel;
I have been saying for some time now that we need a zero tolerance towards violence if we are ever going to have a violence free society, but that is easier said than done. It means not just changing the perpetrators' attitudes, but also the attitudes of those who accept violence as inevitable, or who think victims are somehow to blame or who think it is a problem for someone else to solve.
I often refer to this quote:
"The public through the submissions made to this Committee, has expressed its concern at the increase in violence and has called on it to find solutions. It is not unfair to say that the public now has the community it deserves. For the last two or three decades permissiveness has gone unchecked; domestic violence is rampant; the 'macho' image has been encouraged by advertising for commercial interests to the detriment of women; aggressive behaviour and violence in 'sport' has become accepted; pornography has become accepted as the norm, as has violence in the visual media; racism has increased; economic inequality with its attendant stresses and frustrations has increased; illiteracy and lack of parenting skills are common and awareness of spiritual values is sadly lacking."
This is a powerful piece of text, and can be found in the Ministerial Committee of Inquiry into Violence (the Roper Report) under the heading 'the Unpalatable Truth'.
It is unpalatable, because it tells us that we are all responsible for the kind of society we have today, and I say today, because those words could have been written today, but they were written nearly two decades ago. This section of the report ends with the phrase :
No one can afford to be complacent about the problem. Violence occurs by acts of commission and omission and we are all responsible."
May 24 in history
4 hours ago