Friday, December 7, 2012

Steve Baron: Fighting violence with violence

Some people smoke, others debauch themselves with alcohol, drugs and gambling; my indulgence is for cafés. I enjoy the chance to read the newspapers, to get that quick fix of caffeine and a chance to chat with all sorts of interesting people from time to time. The eternally effervescent girl with the dragon tattoo and cheeky smile always has something to say when I bump into her in the café. Something she said to me today, about a moment in her life she considered ‘not one of her finer moments’, got me thinking. We all have times like this when we make mistakes and do and say things we regret. 

Unfortunately Christmas is a time when stress levels often become elevated, dangerous situations arise and physical abuse eventuates. Oh of course he didn’t mean to do it and he promises never to do it again and after all it’s really out of character for him. Yes, its amazing how people can often justify almost anything—even murder. The abuse of women and children should never be brushed aside because these instances usually have a tendency to escalate. If a guy will hit you once, he will hit you again and it will probably be worse next time because he knows he got away with it last time.

How do we, as a society, prevent this from happening? One way is to reduce the stresses of Christmas is to stop wasting money buying all those unnecessary and expensive presents. They certainly don’t show that you love someone just because you spent next year’s wages on them. Even though money is not particularly an issue for me personally, I have avoided this stress by simply not buying Christmas presents. Sure, I did for my children when they were little kids but only inexpensive gifts. There were far more important considerations for my hard earned money back in those days when the kids were young. Things like feeding them well, clothing them well, paying off the mortgage and paying the power bill were more important. Let’s be honest here, buying Christmas presents is really just a con promulgated by businesses to make you feel guilty and sell more of their wares.

You might not like the second idea because it may involve breaking the law, so let me give you some background for my standpoint. I have two lovely, intelligent and gorgeous daughters. Both have found themselves two admirable young men I would be proud to call my sons. I don’t think for one second either of them would bash one of my girls but I want to do everything in my power to make sure that doesn’t happen. I have warned both these young men that if they ever laid a finger on either of my girls in anger, I would hunt them down and smash their faces in… and if I was too old to do it I would find someone that could! Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not an angry or aggressive person and I’m certainly not an intimidating macho male by any stretch of the imagination, so they probably had little to fear hearing those words from me… but they certainly knew I meant it! Now I know a lot of you will be saying violence is never the answer. To some extent I would agree with you. It is after all the duty of the legal system to sort out such issues, but the problem is we all know most of this abuse never gets to court in the first place. Sometimes all some people understand is the threat of violence and just maybe when that moment of violence is about to erupt and a fist is raised, the abuser my just remember the threat that was made and make the sensible decision to walk away.

And for those women out there that continue to put up with such abuse and manage to hide it from friends and family, I implore you find the courage, dignity and self-worth to walk away forever. The men that commit such offenses are not worthy of you. I can assure you there are better men out there. These men will love you for who you are, they will not want to control, manipulate and abuse you. These men will accept you whether you are rich or poor, or even if you have ten children in tow. These men may not keep you on the edge of your seat, they may not have that hint of danger that excites you, but don’t forget, such an aphrodisiac can be a real danger to you and or your children. It may indeed be his sexy and rebellious nature that attracts you to him but these traits usually mean trouble. You deserve better, walk away and find yourself a Mr Dependable.

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[Steve Baron is a political commentator. He holds a B.A. (Hons) in Political Science and a B.A. in Economics. He is a published author; a regular columnist in various publications throughout NZ; the Founder of Better Democracy NZ; a former businessman and Waipa Mayoral candidate.]

1 comment:

Malcolm said...

Mix with or listen to any social worker involved in this area and you will find a common theme - the greed, indifference and lack of love demonstrated by men. Women are there for their use. The material poverty in NZ will not be alleviated until the spiritual poverty is dealt with.