Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: It's not OK to just make stuff up

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  • Paul Campbell,

    if it were done in the UK could you get the queen to appear? would she be relevant?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • ThoughtSpur,

    Russell, your argument is circular, you cite your own argument to 'prove' your own point. It also assumes that prosecutions are the desired outcome, not prevention of the violence in the first place. Prevention saves victimisation, rather than creating prisoners.

    If, as you say, the purpose of the campaign is to increase reporting of domestic violence, rather than to reduce its incidence then the message is disingenuous. It would be more useful to express the purpose of the message clearly, without ambiguity: "If you experience violence from a family member or person in your home you should report it. If you witness it, or have genuine concern that it is occurring to someone you know and care about, then report it. Here is the confidential number, call now to find out what you should do next."

    I don't want to be critical of the cast of the ad, whoever they were - all celebrity worthies, carefully selected to represent various communities I am sure, but if the message is as urgent as you say, the under-reporting of abuse, then pussy footing around using brand image style advertising fiddles while Rome burns (apparently). PSAs need to stop being party political broadcasts in drag. Who cares about 'production values'?

    I have no issue with the objective of reducing violence in our society but the communication strategy is flawed, coloured by ideology and monumentally wasteful. It's not ok to squander taxpayers money without exploring the most effective ways of accomplishing the objectives. Measuring advertising awareness is utterly pointless, the result is usually reinforcement for increasing the ad budget the following year. Awareness is to advertising as good intentions, are to smoothing the journey to Hell.

    As to my delicate constitution? It's correct that you didn't use any rude words. But bullying and aggression can be concealed in a velvet glove. What words in the New Zealand vernacular contain more menace than "Get the man some eggs..."?

    Auckland • Since Aug 2007 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    If, as you say, the purpose of the campaign is to increase reporting of domestic violence

    Russell wrote: "A key aim of a campaign like this is to encourage reporting."

    *A*, not *the*.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew C,

    Not trying to throw fuel on the fire, but I thought people may be interested to hear about my good friend's [male] experience with the police re domestic violence.

    My friend married a very hot tempered woman from Brazil and regularly had hammer and tong arguments including plenty of pushing and shoving from both sides [she was particularly prone to dishing out violence including hitting with objects, she used to say its part of her culture and her 'energy'].

    On 2 separate occassions neighbours called the police because of the noise, and on both occassions the police arrested my male friend even though they both fessed up to pushing and shoving. On both occasions the police said its almost always the man who they take away and arrest in these situations.

    I have no idea if this attitude is common or not, just posting it for what it is worth. It may be useful reading the stats in light of this observation.

    This post is not intended to excuse either of their behaviours, it just opened my eyes somewhat when it happened as I didn't really expect that sort of bias from the police nowadays.

    Cheers

    Auckland • Since May 2008 • 169 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    It also assumes that prosecutions are the desired outcome, not prevention of the violence in the first place. Prevention saves victimisation, rather than creating prisoners.

    Actually one of the primary ways to prevent domestic violence, is to prevent people doing it again. Domestic violence offenders are very repetitive in their behaviour, they will repeat offend against their partners and their children, and they will carry their behaviour into new relationships and situations.

    It's one of the reasons that as much as possible, an environment is created where every incident is reported. That puts people in front of the court system which can order them to do various courses, puts victims in touch with victim support, womens refuge and other support organisations.

    It's about breaking the cycle. So absolutely getting more prosecutions is a desired outcome, we know there's a lot more domestic violence going on than is reported to the police, that gap needs to be reduced from both ends.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • nz native,

    I very much like the’ it’s not ok’ ad’s ……. Their message is a simple undeniable truth and its delivered in seven words …………………… It’s a very very good campaign.

    As Russell and others have noted the increase in the reporting of domestic violence suggests a change in our attitude with less tolerating or ‘putting up with it ‘ now going on.

    Unfortunately the good results like society being less tolerant of assaults within the home and reporting more of them to the police got twisted and used for political ends by the national party in the recent election .

    They used the increase in violent crime stats brought about by more domestic assaults being reported for cynical electioneering. They ‘used’ the stats to whip up fear about ‘violent crime ‘, which of course JK and the natianals were going to stamp out unlike the soft on crime namby pamby PC wowsers which they and the likes of bill rolston keep telling us the Labor party are.

    Take something good ……………….. spin it around ………………… and reproduce it as cynical fear mongering.

    The cost ????????? How about another 1000 police peeps?????

    As for why Ralston should have such strange/bad attitude towards domestic violence and woman in general ……………………….. perhaps his ‘condition’ and the effects it could have had on his relationship with the other sex, especially when he was a teenager , has infused him with anger that even now bubbles up to the surface on occasion.

    Since May 2007 • 60 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    Russell, your argument is circular, you cite your own argument to 'prove' your own point.

    I must have missed this, David. Where did Russell do this? (I saw him restate evidence he had previously refered to, but that's not circular reasoning.)

    As to my delicate constitution? It's correct that you didn't use any rude words. But bullying and aggression can be concealed in a velvet glove. What words in the New Zealand vernacular contain more menace than "Get the man some eggs..."?

    Again, where did he bully Ralston, or anyone else? I'm not sure what your point is here. (Although if there's a little more acrimony than needs be between the two, it began with Ralston unnecessary labelling all the men in the ads "smug". If he wanted to address this serious issue with a contrary point of view that was intended to raise some points based on research, he could just have said they were "well meaning but misguided" or something similar. But no, he reached for invective. Because, ya know, that helps keep the debate focused on the issue at hand...)

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    The cost ????????? How about another 1000 police peeps?????

    That's more than $40 million, ongoing, in wages. That would buy a lot of television advertising.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    There are the 'if you get drunk you'll get raped' ads, those are great...

    From memory, all the male ALAC ads feature a drunk person doing something stupid. The Lisa ad differs because it features a drunk person having something done TO them.

    I remember these ads being discussed on PAS last year, and someone going as far as to submit a complaint about them.

    I take the point that it is only in the 'Lisa' ad that the 'bad stuff' is externally initiated, and in an ideal world everyone would live free of the fear of random violence.

    However, both me and my wife took a much milder interpretation of that particular ad - more along the lines of 'Hey look, it isn't an ideal world, and shit like this does happen far more frequently than we'd like. So, y'know, if you're out on the piss just watch out for yourself, mmmkay'.

    We've also talked a lot about the whole male/female headgames/violence thing. She is quite strongly of the opinion that in certain relationships the female partner can and will deliberately goad the male partner into physical assault - something that it simply hadn't crossed my mind might happen.

    Not sure how relevant that is, and I am/was a little hesitant to mention it - I don't want to detract from the 'it's not ok' message in any way.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    She is quite strongly of the opinion that in certain relationships the female partner can and will deliberately goad the male partner into physical assault.

    When I was a little boy, my younger sister mastered the art of goading me until I lost my temper and hit her. I was the one who copped the blame. I used to regard that as unfair, but in fact, hitting people is worse than teasing them, and the mark of a good person is exercising restraint. Isn't it?

    I know that in an ordinary assault case, provocation is not a defence.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Any man who is so goaded is an idiot.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Any man who is so goaded is an idiot.

    I don't believe that's useful.

    A lot of the reason that violence happens is that people don't have the skills and experience to redirect anger, frustration, hurt etc, into non-violent channels. They've learnt that violence is a method for dealing with these issues, they've quite possibly grown up in a household where that's how it was dealt with.

    If we want to reduce violence in our community, labelling and rejecting people isn't going to do it.

    Yes, people need to take responsibility for their actions and front up to improve. But society needs to recognise it for what it is - something that we need to work as hard as possible to fix. If for no other reason, that if we put someone on a different path, they're less likely to hurt others.

    Stephen no doubt at some stage when he was growing up learnt not to bite when his sister goaded him. Sadly, a lot of people haven't learnt that skill at any time.

    Putting a tag on someone who is violent is the first step to putting them in the 'too hard' basket. Society needs to be smarter than that.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Although if there's a little more acrimony than needs be between the two, it began with Ralston unnecessary labelling all the men in the ads "smug"

    I'm sure it goes back to the whole people-think-they're-the-same-person thing. ;

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    that people don't have the skills and experience to redirect anger, frustration, hurt etc, into non-violent channels

    I would buy that in some cases, but often wonder why violent people are able to control themselves in a public place or when they're surrounded by other, equally physically strong people - yet somehow can't manage to control themselves at home.

    If domestic violence is (in my personal experience of it, at least) more about someone being a controlling douchebag, anger management techniques are, I believe, less useful. Some of these people can control their own anger just fine: it's just that they don't actually care how any member of their family feels at the receiving end of it.

    I don't know how you make them care, either. Is there such a thing as empathy training?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • st ephen,

    There's a dynamic that happens between partners where one tends toward a more rational, logical, dispassionate way of approaching things and the other tends to respond more emotionally and intuitively to events. Often-times the engineer from Mars and the artist from Venus get along just fine, but when they clash, it can infuriate the Venusian to see the Martian maintaining their cool (and therefore dignity - misplaced value judgement aside), while they themselves are a sobbing, bawling mess. Goading and/or physical attacks are then a way to provoke a response that evens things up a little.

    At least, that's what my girlfriend told me in one of her calmer, more rational moments. :-) For my part, I quite enjoyed learning to stop being infuriatingly smug, and instead unleash a Tourette-like string of abuse. I could sound fairly convincing too - at least until I ran out of vocab and started dropping things like "money-funster".

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 254 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I used to regard that as unfair, but in fact, hitting people isworse than teasing them, and the mark of a good person is exercising restraint. Isn't it?

    It is, even in a macho sports such as ice hockey, which has established role players - they call them pests, but we might call them goaders - whose job is to provoke other players into hitting them and copping a penalty.

    Not that by making the comparison I'm buying even remotely the "women goaders" theory. I think it's repulsive, it makes a ton of assumptions that I find totally unacceptable (such as: what constitutes "goading"? does burning the roast qualify?).

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    does burning the roast qualify?).

    e.g, she burnt my Vogels and I just totally lost it Your Honour?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    The odd report of anger management I've heard has made them sound like "how to get what you want by whining and manipulating rather than putting your fist through the wall". I hope that's not accurate.

    I've also heard that there are two kinds of people with respect to anger and violence - those who use it to get control, and those for whom showing anger or violence is a sign of losing control. You'd need different solutions for either.

    But what's winding me up most right now is Thoughtspur's suggestion that public service ads need to stop being party political ads in drag. Is he implying that the It's Not Ok ads are? Does he have any actual evidence or argument behind this particularly odd assertion?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    it makes a ton of assumptions that I find totally unacceptable

    Teh Wimminz, with their sneaky mind-fu! They will manipulate you into acting crazy with their feminine wiles! You are a simple-minded male, and you cannot handle their trickery!

    Stuff like that, you mean?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I would buy that in some cases, but often wonder why violent people are able to control themselves in a public place or when they're surrounded by other, equally physically strong people - yet somehow can't manage to control themselves at home.

    Yes true. As B. Jones points out, it's not an answer for everyone, just for many.

    But I also suspect some of the people that you're talking about still don't have the ability to redirect their issues, they just bottle it up and it comes out later - 'at home', 'after a few drinks' etc.

    I don't know how you make them care, either. Is there such a thing as empathy training?

    I know that a lot of non-violence courses try and do this. They have perpetrators talk about what their victims might feel, sometimes they look at victim impact statements that sort of stuff. They watch documentaries from the point of view of victims. Not perfect, but I know they have some success.

    Teh Wimminz, with their sneaky mind-fu! They will manipulate you into acting crazy with their feminine wiles! You are a simple-minded male, and you cannot handle their trickery!

    This is just double trickery! You're releasing your plans in a mocking type way to us, and now we don't know if you're being honest or just kidding. Mess with our minds you do!

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    When I was a young single man, my married boss explained how women use this special mind-fu to trick men into thinking they (the men) want babies...

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 893 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Kyle, I was not trying to be helpful. I was merely stating that any man who allows himself to be goaded into assaulting a woman is an idiot. Clearly that is the case: she has manipulated him to commit an offence against her person.

    I don't think there is a whole lot of goading going on, in truth. I think this argument is one that is made to excuse violence by men. What troubles me about the likes of Ralston, men who trade on their cartoon blokeyness, is that they are so ready to support male violence, to create false equivalences and to excuse the violent, especially when the perps are their friends.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    I would like to re-iterate that this wasn't my (male) theory, it was my (female) wife's experience*. And if true, it is only applicable to a small handful of relationships that are already extremely dysfunctional.

    Also, like I said, I was hesitant to mention it because, y'know, it's not ok.

    *by wife I mean wife, not 'very good friend I'm using as a cover'. And by 'expeience' I mean outside of our relationship.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Savidge,

    I was merely stating that any man who allows himself to be goaded into assaulting a woman is an idiot.

    Harsh, unfair and beneath your talent for reasonable analysis and description Paul.

    The idiots need our empathy, understanding and goodwill as much as the victims if we are want, as individuals or as a community, to help reduce levels of domestic violence.

    But you knew that already eh?

    Somewhere near Wellington… • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    Sorry - I've come late to this thread - I was up north, but

    What are Bill Ralston's qualifications?

    Mr Ralston was for a while editor of that august tome, Metro magazine. He was noted for putting on successive front covers pictures of blonde bimbos (from Parnell?), and 'new lad' toys (motorbikes, fast cars). All very FHM. And the content - went downhill faster than a Big Mac down Supasize Me Morgan Spurlock's gullet at the height of his 'experiment', and with the exact same nutritional value as well.

    Mid-life crises as editor of Metro magazine is not a terribly good look. Thank god he moved on.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

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