Another discussion paper, another waste of time. If the Minister of Justice is as concerned about family violence as she claims, she should face the inconvenient truth – our casualised relationship culture is not working. Then she should sit down with her cabinet colleagues and work out an action plan to affirm marriage.
The social science evidence showing the root cause of this problem is very clear. Domestic violence is experienced in households with casual partners at a rate 10 times higher than married households. You would have thought such evidence would command the attention of our political leaders.
Unfortunately not. The same overwhelming evidence exists on the type of households where child abuse flourishes. The Hon Paula Bennett completely ignored it with her vulnerable children action plan. The Hon Amy Adams is following true to form with her domestic violence law review. Its all the usual stuff – more information sharing with government agencies, better co-ordination of agency response, new laws. In short do anything but get to the heart of the matter.
TVNZ tonight hit the nail on the head. They reported that part of the review is whether women should have access to domestic violence history when they take on new partners. New partners is the problem. We now have a relationship culture of multiple and not always serial partnerships. Relationship “churn” is an accepted and normal part of the social landscape, especially for younger New Zealanders.
But men and women are not created for this. We have an inherent calling to faithful commitment. Ignoring it is not recipe for freedom and fulfillment. It is a recipe for insecurity, anger, and violence. The evidence confirms it. Why do we keep ignoring it ?