Coercive Control – Like Walking on Eggshells

a post by The Survivor

I came across an interesting article called Beyond “Witnessing”: Children’s Experiences of Coercive Control in Domestic Violence and Abuse (Callaghan,  Alexander, Sixsmith, & Fellin, 2015). This article introduced me to the concept ‘coercive control’ which I thought was intriguing. Academically, these words were new to me, but personally I found they were affiliated with my childhood experience. Helen Walmsley-Johnson on This Morning shared her experience on coercive control. Helen’s story seemed familiar to my mum’s story. The common factor they had was that they both did not recognise they were being emotionally battered by their husbands. I did not recognise it either. Helen’s story left me in a state of epiphany.

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Work place harassment: the smoking gun paradigm

post by ‘Ellie Clearwater’

Semira Davis, an employee at New Zealand’s ASB bank, laid a formal complaint against her boss for harassment. Her allegations included unwelcome physical contact and the fact that he was ‘sketching’ her at work – the response? HR replied that he had a ‘knack for it’ (Anthony, 2018).

This, frankly shocking, response sums up the New Zealand attitude towards as very real social issue: Workplace harassment.

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Gross Domestic Product, Feminism and Sanction 70a

Post by: On_this_rock

Sole Parent Benefits have recently come under fire because of a sanction on those parents that do not name the other parent for child support payments. Specifically, sanction 70a of the sections 176, 177 and 178 of the Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill, enforces weekly reductions of benefits of $22 per child, and then an additional $6 if no action to name the other parent has been taken during first 13 weeks (AAAP, 2018). Those sanctioned are predominately mothers: 13298 women vs 318 men and approximately 17000 children (Auckland Action Against Poverty).

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The system isn’t working: support for rape victims

post by Suzette Jackson

Trigger warning : rape

A close friend* of mine was raped recently. She called me immediately afterwards to be with her. There is no way to explain just how powerless I felt. I hugged her as she cried. I was there when the police came. They asked questions about her behaviour and her drinking the night before. I felt angered that this even came up as an important point. They took away bedding and underwear. Her boyfriend raged. He tried convincing her not to press charges. He was all for vigilante justice. I tried to be a voice of reason. I said I thought the police were better now, that the system was better now, and that she could get some resolution from the process. Continue reading “The system isn’t working: support for rape victims”

The State of Aotearoa New Zealand Abortion Law

post by Juliette

Aotearoa New Zealand’s current laws around abortion are ancient, and presents demoralising, dysfunctional, and sexist views of women. Abortion in New Zealand is represented as a crime, with limited exceptions to access, as it features in the Crimes Act 1961. The topic of abortion is a very controversial one, with heavy and alive debates that are concerned with weather to remove abortion from the crimes act and formally decriminalise it to make it a health issue as opposed to a criminal one. Other laws that regulate abortion in Aotearoa New Zealand are the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act 1977 and the Care of Children Act 2004. For a more in-depth account of these pieces of legislation see the law around abortion.

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Babies behind bars

post by Princess Leia

For a number of years, the practice of ‘babies behind bars’ has grown in popularity. This phenomenon has been increasing over the past ten years in many different countries, including America and the United Kingdom. Netflix has even released a documentary about one of these occurrences in the United States. The situations always play out relative to mothers and babies within female prisons. In the UK, the units cater for mothers with babies under the age of eighteen months as women who either give ‘birth in prison or have a child under 18 months old they can apply to bring their child to prison with them’.

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Crossing a line – Maria’s tale

a post by Anonymous student

Consider Maria*. From age seven, Maria grew up with multiple foster parents before moving into residential care at age 14. She had her first child at 18, her second at 21, both with a partner who is physically abusive towards her. Both children were removed from their care due to neglect and physical abuse. Maria became pregnant again at 23 and because of her history, was referred to an NGO, which provided weekly visits from a social worker. Due to the potential high risk of neglect and abuse, the third baby was removed immediately after it was born and placed into care. Maria’s visits from the social worker then stopped because she was no longer pregnant and there was no baby or child in the family. Maria was left to return to an abusive partner and overwhelming feelings of grief and loss.

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‘Wanna hear a joke?’ (Trigger Warning – Sexual Assault)

post by Anonymous

“What’s the difference between football and rape? Women don’t like football” – Jimmy Carr, Comedian.

But it’s just a joke, right?

“Ninety-nine per cent of women kiss with their eyes closed, which is why it’s so difficult to identify a rapist” – Jimmy Carr, Comedian

A bit of ‘harmless’ fun.

The reality is that these ‘harmless’ jokes perpetuate society’s rape supportive attitudes. It trivialises rape to reinforce dangerous ideologies that normalises and diminishes violence towards women, and adheres to common rape myths that suggest female rape survivors ‘wanted it’, are to blame, and their credibility is questioned .

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Abortion Law Reform in New Zealand: Where are the Social Workers?

post by Jessica Steele

I write this with blog in the wake of the referendum on Ireland’s eighth amendment – the abortion referendum. It is being hailed as a landslide victory for the yes (repeal the eighth) campaign. I feel nothing but relief and a renewed resolve to see things change in Aotearoa. My thoughts go immediately to the family and loved ones of Savita Halappanavar. Six years ago, Savita died a wholly preventable death due to sepsis in an Irish hospital as she was miscarrying. She was denied a life-saving termination of pregnancy.

Continue reading “Abortion Law Reform in New Zealand: Where are the Social Workers?”