by JENNY McPHEE
“I Tarzan, you Jane.” Although cave art drawings do not support it, from somewhere a picture of Tarzan, leopard skin-clothed with club in hand pulling Jane along by the hair, has emerged.
Certainly the caveman is walking in front, carrying a spear, with the woman behind carrying more spears, a baby and the fire stick, became the accepted picture.
To be fair, the caveman would face the lion first, and the quality of their relationship could dictate the speed with which she handed over the second spear.
Men are standing in increasing numbers against violence towards women and children.
In February, Christchurch held White Ribbon Day, a public display of strength and unity against all forms of abuse. Members of the Air Force, Army, Navy and Police joined aid agencies, clergy politicians and public in Cathedral Square.
The cathedral stood grey and crumbling, in stark contrast to the brightly painted walls of street art.
Leather helmets, Harleys and jacket patches of BACA (Bikies Against Child Abuse) reinforced the single message — abuse is not okay.
Aviva (formally Christchurch Womens Refuge) is working with the whole family to break the inter-generational cycle of violence. The Canterbury earthquakes caused volatile family situations, exacerbated by overcrowding and damp and shaking homes.
Police reports of domestic abuse were lower than usual during this period. But calls for help to Aviva were up 50 per cent.
In a move away from being “the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff”, Aviva organised a hui where men talked about their abuse.
Aviva developed the “Reach Out” service for men who have committed, or are likely to commit, family violence. A no-interest loan and financial education have reduced financial challenges to families. Aviva’s recent work with 170 North Canterbury clients has reduced their reoffending from 18 per cent to 1.4 per cent.
by JENNY McPHEE