Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: When it's Not Okay

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  • Rik,

    First!

    Since Jun 2007 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • Max Call,

    I agree with you about the interviewer. At first her direct style of questioning made me feel uncomfortable as it seemed a bit accusing... 'hey - she's not the 'baddie'. However as the interview progressed I could see that this meant that she could be just as direct in her answers instead of stepping around issues.
    By the end I had tears running down my face.
    The women interviewing looked like she had been cutting up onions for a lasagne too. :-)

    Fruit Bowl of New Zealand… • Since Jun 2007 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • RaggedJoe,

    Didn't see the interview, so sorry for a bit of thred subject slippage...but...have to say I am amazed by the number of women I have discussed this sorry affair with who feel sorry for Mr Veitch. "if he wasn't a TV personality he would not be treated like this.." Sorry but WTF?! He broke her back...! Is it just a coincidence that I mix with the wrong women (quite possible) or am I missing something here.

    City of Sales • Since Sep 2008 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    A classy title for that story last night, dontcha think?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    I am amazed by the number of women I have discussed this sorry affair with who feel sorry for Mr Veitch. "if he wasn't a TV personality he would not be treated like this.." Sorry but WTF?! He broke her back...! Is it just a coincidence that I mix with the wrong women (quite possible) or am I missing something here.

    Name another person who broke their partner's back in a bout of domestic violence over the last, I don't know, five years. I very much doubt Veitch was the only one, but he's certainly the only one I can name; and I would guess that this is what your friends are getting at. If this wasn't Veitch it wouldn't be news, as sad as that might be.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • CD,

    As someone who was in an abusive relationship for more than 10 years and am also a well-educated professional, I am so grateful to Kristen Dunne-Powell for speaking up. This kind of violence really is going on in all kinds of houses and all kinds of families. I knew the situation I was in but I always felt that talking about it, let alone going to the police would only make things worse. She is right that no-one who hasn't experience it really understands. I never felt that his behaviour was ok and neither did he really but still it continued. I stayed because I cared about him, despite the violence and I believed he wouldn't cope if I left - in the end he couldn't cope anyway and took his own life. And for me, life is so much better.

    Like RaggedJoe I have heard lots of women and men feel sorry for Tony Veitch and express quite viscious criticism of his victim. I say nothing back, still don't admit it happened to me because I don't want to be exposed to that kind of judgement myself - and, strangely perhaps, now he's gone I want him to be remembered for his good qualities. It feels, though that I can only ever reveal half my experience of life to the world - I can only comment, like here, anonymously.

    Since Jul 2009 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • RaggedJoe,

    If this wasn't Veitch it wouldn't be news, as sad as that might be.

    Well understood, that is clear. Just doesn't mean I can feel sympathy for the guy. And I guess I have to feel some admiration for those of the fairer sex who can! Having never hit my wife or children I am not able to empathise in any way.

    City of Sales • Since Sep 2008 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    If this wasn't Veitch it wouldn't be news, as sad as that might be.

    I think it's also fair to say that it wouldn't have been news in the same way had Veitch not acted as he did after the story broke, and had others not enabled him in doing so.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Having never hit my wife or children I am not able to empathise in any way.

    And there will be some women who, never having been in this position, can't empathise with Dunne-Powell. Just being female doesn't give you any particular insight into another woman's situation.

    strangely perhaps, now he's gone I want him to be remembered for his good qualities.

    CD, if it's any comfort, my mother felt the same way about my father.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    She has, of course, had help in finding these words.

    I suppose you are right, but as cynical as I am I think I prefer to believe that she has had to try and explain it to herself so many times that when she answered the interviewer the words were familiar and perhaps better thought out than for a question she hadn't asked herself a million times.

    Having never hit my wife or children I am not able to empathise in any way.

    That's not what empathy is about. Last time I hit anyone I was 16, but it doesn't mean I can't sense somehow what kind of screwed up life he was leading. There is no question that what he did was wrong. But empathy and understanding can help prevent others doing what he did. Understand his failure and you have a better chance of preventing anyone else hitting their loved ones.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • CD,

    Well said Bart

    Since Jul 2009 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    If this wasn't Veitch it wouldn't be news, as sad as that might be.

    That is his problem. Had he dived off a bridge into a foaming torrent to save a litter of cute puppies from drowning, he would have received more acclaim than the average joe doing the same thing. Those are the breaks of celebrity.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • RaggedJoe,

    That's not what empathy is about

    Sorry but I think that is exactly what empathy is about. "Empathise • verb understand and share the feelings of another"

    I cannot understand or share the feeling that leads someone to domestic violence regardless of

    what kind of screwed up life he was leading

    City of Sales • Since Sep 2008 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    But empathy and understanding can help prevent others doing what he did. Understand his failure and you have a better chance of preventing anyone else hitting their loved ones.

    I'm still a little angry about the degree of enabling that went on around him though; the people who not only bought into the denial but helped him market it.

    I hope some of them watched that interview and thought about their own actions. Because they weren't even helping their friend when they did that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I am amazed by the number of women I have discussed this sorry affair with who feel sorry for Mr Veitch.

    When someone you like* does something terrible, that creates a contradiction: how can I like this terrible person? Only terrible people like other terrble people, and I'm not a terrible person.

    And one way to resolve that contradiction is to refuse to believe that the person did something terrible, or that there must be extenuating circumstances, so you can continue to like them and feel confident that your own moral status is ok.

    Everyone feels like this sometimes, but some people more than others.

    *or someone whose projected media personality you like.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I'm still a little angry about the degree of enabling that went on around him

    An awful lot of folks seemed to want to excuse his behaviour. Like you I was angry and disgusted by much of what was said.

    Because they weren't even helping their friend when they did that.

    Exactly! You don't help someone who has a problem with violence by excusing it. He needed the help of his friends to face his own failure and learn to never do it again. Instead they were excusing and cheering him.

    "Empathise • verb understand and share the feelings of another"

    Joe you can understand and share a feeling without acting on it the way someone else does. I can get some sense of the emotions that go with stress and anger, which are probably the emotions Veitch was feeling. That doesn't mean I go on to do violence to another person. I'm not trying to derail nor do I really want to argue this much. I think we are both disgusted by what Veitch did.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • RaggedJoe,

    Aha...you beat me to it, we are on the same side here and nuff said!

    City of Sales • Since Sep 2008 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    When someone you like* does something terrible, that creates a contradiction: how can I like this terrible person?

    You're right Stephen. But I think there is another part to this as well. At least for me there is. If someone I know and like does something terrible - how can I be sure I can't also do something terrible?

    In other words "what stops me being a wife or child beater?". For me simply asking that question of myself provides some of the answer.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    how can I like this terrible person? Only terrible people like other terrble people, and I'm not a terrible person.

    The person also has that issue. Might decide they are a terrible person, or decide that when they did it they were "not me". Neither of which are much use in dealing with the problem.

    I gather the trick is to consider that doing something bad does not make you a bad person. Then, of course, work on doing un-bad things.

    I guess one loves the sinner and hates the sin. I've thought before that proper Christianity is harder than it sounds.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Patricia,

    I agree with you Bart, just asking the question is not really enough. As CD as said even her abuser had some limited recognition that his behaviour was not ok, and still he did it again. I think the answer is as individual and complicated as humans are and is different for each relationship that we have.

    I am not sure how we go about stopping it, but I do know that the courage of woman, like Dunne-Powell in speaking, can only help. If that interview starts one abused person on the path to thinking this has to stop, then that can only be good.

    I hope one day CD you get to live in a world where you feel free to openly admit to your experience and have that met not with judgements but with empathy and understanding. I hope that is soon.

    behind the couch • Since Dec 2008 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    People have to remember that what you see on TV are "Television Personalities" - not actual people but people playing a role, actors if you will - the sit up straighter, enunciate, choose their words or read a script - say scandalous things for effect, are forced to wear clothes that only Winston would be caught dead in (did anyone see Mark Sainsbury last night?)

    They're different in real life both nicer and/or more evil - Russell seems OK though

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Nichol,

    Last time I hit anyone I was 16, but it doesn't mean I can't sense somehow what kind of screwed up life he was leading.

    Last time I hit someone was December, it was great fun afterwards, but not much fun at the time. Was in a bar, he was about 20, and he hit me out of the blue. Hopefully he'll think twice before hitting anyone else ever again.

    Didn't break his back though. No kicking involved at all. And the only thrown liquid was when he spilled his wine on me as he made his very hasty "retreat" towards the floor.

    No one should hit anyone, and anyone who does should expect punishment. If the talk of attempted suicide and so on are to be believed, I think that Veitch has been sufficiently punished.

    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    "if he wasn't a TV personality he would not be treated like this.."

    Sure he wouldn't -- he would, I respectfully submit, not have had a disgraceful Paul Holmes hand job in the Herald on Sunday (sans disclosure that he was giving media advice to his close friend) or various other enablers trashing the complainant as a mad extortionist.

    I have a funny feeling Dunne-Powell isn't waiting for an apology.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Rebecca Williams,

    thank you for the post. all very good points, and moving support from you for women in domestic violence situations or the aftermath of those situations. it is genuinely heartening to converse with men who are anti-violence and truly recognise the impact on women, and who truly recognise who is responsible.

    I'm still a little angry about the degree of enabling that went on around him though; the people who not only bought into the denial but helped him market it.

    totally. i hadn't thought of the word enabling, but that's exactly what it was. it was sickening, watching vietch justify and minimise what he did, and just as sickening watching the people around him, media included, lapping it up and perpetrating the story that he "lashed out" because he was provoked.

    re dunne-powell having had help finding her words, i genuinely don't know what you mean. help from a therapist? help from preventing violence organisations or similar? help from a media coach? family?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    re dunne-powell having had help finding her words, i genuinely don't know what you mean. help from a therapist? help from preventing violence organisations or similar? help from a media coach? family?

    I meant from counselling, to help her recognise what was going on -- not that someone else had scripted it for her or anything -- but obviously that wasn't clear in my post.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

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