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Weekly Media Roundup

November 29, 2019 at 3:37 PM

The Spinoff: Men’s violence against women: the blind spots in the Grace Millane trial

At the Auckland High Court, I watched a trial unfolding as a crucible of modern gender and sexual politics under the spotlight of unprecedented media coverage, writes Nicola Gavey.

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Stuff: The New "She Asked For It" – Rough Sex, Victim Blaming and the Grace Millane Trial

At times, it looked like an enlightened step forward for sexual violence justice – a trial for the post-#MeToo era if ever there was one. At others it felt, in the words of one veteran court reporter, like a 1990s rape trial.



RNZ: It's time to redraw the boundaries on court cases that define women

Analysis: The coverage of the trial relating to the killing of Grace Millane has often felt like a revictimisation of Grace but also, a revictimisation of many women.

The story has become one about our attitudes towards women and sexual freedom and how, while justice must be seen to be done, there is danger in the details once they hit the public arena.

The coverage has felt like a setback in the fight for women to be allowed to live their lives, free of shame and free of danger.

Underneath all the commentary about the nature of the media coverage and court reporting in the 21st century runs a current that speaks to entrenched misogyny, and a growing disquiet about the way this intersects with public discourse about crime against women and the justice system.



RNZ: Why is it that so few believed Grace Millane's killer would be held accountable?

Warning: Coverage related to the trial of the man who murdered Grace Millane contains graphic and sexual details that may be distressing to some readers

Analysis - It's been four days now since the man accused of Grace Millane's murder was found guilty, and a collective sigh of relief was shared by people all over the world. Immediately after the verdict was announced, my twitter feed was flooded with variations of the same sentiment: "Thank God". It seems many people didn't actually believe the man who brutally took the life of this young woman would be held accountable for it. Why is that?



RNZ: How can men talk about sexual violence?

Opinion: We need men's voices in public conversations about sexual assault and consent.

No matter who we are or where we come from, we all desire respectful and respecting relationships.

We want our children, our coworkers, our friends, who are women, to find enjoyment and kindness in their relationships - whether its a short term hook up or a long term partnership.

In the wake of the trial of the man who killed Grace Millane, it is apparent that this is far from the norm in New Zealand.



Newsroom: Why victims’ sexual history is irrelevant

Sophie Beaumont wants to talk about why we allow women’s histories to be dragged into trials in an effort to allow men to go free 

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NZ Herald: Grace Millane murder trial fuels mounting calls to change 'victim blaming' laws

Calls to expand changes to the way sexual violence victims are treated in court are mounting, fuelled by outrage over the Grace Millane trial.

A 27-year-old man was convicted on Friday of the backpacker's murder by strangulation, which occurred during a Tinder date in central Auckland on December 1 last year.

The defence case argued the death was not murder but an accident which occurred during rough sex. It relied on evidence from Millane's former sexual partners to allege she enjoyed BDSM and choking, and therefore the sex would have been consensual.

A raft of experts say Millane's sexual history should not have been allowed to be picked over by defence lawyers; and other alleged victims of the accused should have also had more protection.



The Spinoff: A guilty verdict brings justice for Grace Millane. For her sake, for all our sakes, let’s now change how we talk about blame

A jury at the Auckland High Court has this evening unanimously agreed a guilty verdict against the 27-year-old charged with the murder of Grace Millane. He is remanded in custody until sentencing on February 21 next year. The decision brings justice for Grace’s family. But in the course of the trial, and the laying out of her sexual history, we witnessed a mirror of some of the worst elements of our society, writes Samantha Keene.

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Stuff: Grace Millane's death adds another sad statistic to NZ's strangulation problem

The only person who knows what happened to Grace Millane in her final moments is the man who strangled her to death - and his version of events was littered with lies.

Her family know almost nothing about her last living seconds. All they know is that their daughter, who was travelling the world in her gap year, was killed by a man she met on Tinder on the eve of her 22nd birthday.



Stuff: Jack Tame: Grace was special, but her murder is shamefully familiar


The tears in his eyes made it difficult for David Millane to read.

He held a bit of paper. A few carefully chosen devastating sentences. But as he and his wife Gill stood before the media, for a few seconds he couldn't recognise them. He couldn't read his own words.

The case has captured our attention for many reasons.



RNZ: Millane killer so scary his flatmate went to bed with a knife

Warning: This story and related coverage of the trial contains graphic and sexual details that may be distressing to some readers

A woman who lived with Grace Millane's killer says he was so scary one of their flatmates took a knife to bed with her for protection.

The woman, who RNZ has agreed not to name, says she "feels a huge sense of relief" after a jury yesterday found him guilty of murdering British backpacker Ms Millane, who he met on Tinder.

The woman, along with two other female flatmates, shared a Greenlane house with the man in 2016, after he responded to their Facebook post on an Auckland flatmates group.

But she quickly became uncomfortable around him as he changed when he drank and he seemed "troubled", and a "prolific liar".



Newshub: UK activists, MPs call for end of 'rough sex gone wrong' defence letting men get away with murder

UK MPs, senior lawyers and women's organisations are taking a stand against the increasing use of "rough sex gone wrong" as a courtoom defence for men accused of injuring or murdering women. 

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RNZ: White Ribbon Riders challenge 'boys don't cry' stereotypes

About 20 motorcycles rode onto the Parliament forecourt this afternoon, in an event marking White Ribbon Day.

Over the past week the White Ribbon Riders have driven across the country, in an effort to raise awareness about the country's crippling domestic violence record.

This year's theme - Challenge the Unspoken Rules - has been focused on disrupting the toxic stereotypes that teach young men to toughen up and suppress their feelings.



1 News Now: White Ribbon bikies descend on Parliament to call out violence against women



Scoop: Our National Shame: Two Deaths In White Ribbon Week

Press Release: National Network of Family Violence Services

As we mark intolerance of violence towards women for White Ribbon, two Kiwi families will bury loved ones whose lives ended because of family violence.

Crystal-Lee Selwyn of Hamilton died earlier this week after an alleged assault by her partner. Police are investigating her death as a homicide. She was the mother of eight children.

In Tauranga Ethan Kerapa was fatally shot by police after he held his children hostage at knifepoint. He had an extensive history of using serious violence against his partner and children.



Stuff: Whangarei White Ribbon installation challenges link between clothes and rape

A pair of pyjamas. A child's bright yellow T-shirt. A work outfit. A pair of jeans and a T-shirt.

An exhibition in Whangārei is challenging the "pervasive" belief that when a woman is raped, what they were wearing had an impact.

The installation, What Were You Wearing, recreates survivors' descriptions of their clothes when they were sexually violated.



Scoop: New Zealand Landmarks Illuminate Orange for 16 Days

Press Release: UN Women NZ
WEDNESDAY 27TH NOVEMBER 2019 - For 16 days, key landmarks around New Zealand will be illuminated orange to support the Unite Campaign to end violence against women. The Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington, the Auckland Harbour Bridge and New Plymouth’s Clock Tower will all be shining orange for the #16days of activism which commenced on Monday 25th November 2019 and will end 10 December, Human Rights Day.



Stuff: When we listen and teach, violent men learn they matter

OPINION: During a topic last month on domestic violence, The AM Show host Duncan Garner took some flak for telling his audience not to ridicule men or else you "set off the powder keg" because "some of them don't do humiliation very well." His co-host Amanda Gillies rightly corrected him, saying there is no excuse for abuse of any kind.

Gillies then turned to a guest from SHINE, an organisation that provides services to victims of domestic abuse, and asked: "What do men say when you ask them why they act violently?" The guest said she doesn't ask that question.

Why not? They are fathers, brothers, sons, members of our communities who need to (and maybe want to) change how they behave. Why shouldn't we ask?



Newshub: NZ's shame: The regions where family violence is highest

New figures show the number of investigations into domestic violence are on track to hit record levels in several parts of the country.

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CPAG: Monitoring report suggests progress, but worst-off children need next steps urgently

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) says that the Government’s Families Package Monitoring Report shows strong commitment to the intentions outlined in the Child Poverty Reduction Act, specifically with regard to reporting on progressing towards the Act’s targets.

“The Families Package was a start, but while on some level it’s had successes, it was nowhere near enough to lift the worst-off children out of poverty – and this really should be acknowledged,” says Associate Professor Susan St John, CPAG’s Economics advisor. 



Stuff: 'Beautiful, strong' mother of eight dies after assault in Hamilton home

A mother-of-eight, who died three days after being beaten in her home, was a strong woman whose life revolved around her children, a relative says. 

Police have launched a homicide inquiry after Crystal-Lee Selwyn, 38, died in hospital on Tuesday.

Whānau were rallying around Selwyn's six youngest children, who watched their mother being assaulted, said sister-in-law Stephanie Peeni​.



Stuff: Violence, lies and social media: Inside the murder trial of Dr Venod Skantha

Lisa-Ann Rush wanted justice for her "shattered" family, but she wasn't in court to witness it.

She was the untold tragedy of the four-week murder trial of Dr Venod Skantha, 32, who denied killing her beloved daughter, Amber-Rose Rush. The jury took just over three hours to find him guilty of murder, plus four charges of threatening to kill.

It was Lisa-Ann who found the bloodstains on the 16-year-old's bed after opening her bedroom door to let their ageing dog Storm out on the morning of February 3 last year.



Stuff: 'They are wasted ... that's creepy': Party-goers encouraged to think about consent

People are being encouraged to "don't guess the yes" when it comes to sexual consent

With the festive season around the corner, Wellington police have launched a campaign aimed at party goers to think about alcohol, decision-making and consent. 

The campaign has been launched on social media and posters showing a text exchange are popping up around the city. 



The Spinoff: Her boyfriend abused her child. She was the one who was punished

Hannah McGowan has written before about the untold harm done by WINZ restrictions on beneficiaries forming romantic relationships. She thought she knew how bad it could get, and then she heard Amy’s story.



RNZ: Benefit relationship rules create lose-lose situation - advocacy groups

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Stuff: Tauranga Shooting: Girls suffered wounds inflicted by their father, family say

The two girls who were held hostage by their father before he was eventually shot by police suffered superficial wounds caused by their father, family say.  

The girls aged four and six were held hostage for 15 hours by their machete-wielding father Ethan Kerapa on Sunday.

Family who visited the girls on Tuesday say the six-year-old suffered a gash on her arm and the four-year-old suffered a shallow puncture wound above her heart. 



Stuff: Government: 12,000 more people to be trained in mental health, addiction issues

Up to 12,000 more people will be trained in mental health and addictions issues in the next four years after a "major boost" in Government support. 

Health Minister Dr David Clark announced a number of new training initiatives, part of a national frontline services rollout to support people with mild to moderate mental health needs, on Tuesday afternoon. 

"As a country we've neglected mental health and wellbeing for too long. We know we need to do more to support people in distress, and we are," Clark said. 

Clark made the announcement at Le Va, a Pasifika health service in Manukau – one of the first organisations to receive additional funding under the scheme.



Stuff: Running buddy group set up following spate of attacks on North Shore women

A group has been set up to help people find running buddies following four random attacks on women in Auckland while they were exercising.

Facebook group 'Running Mate' was set up on Tuesday afternoon with the intention of getting people to exercise together, as a safety-in-numbers initiative.

By Tuesday evening, it had 158 members, with posts from people all over Auckland keen to find people to go running with.

It comes as police warned four attacks on women who were running or walking alone in the North Shore and West Auckland area may have been linked.



Stuff: Zoe Marshall reveals she suffered from domestic violence before meeting Benji Marshall

Zoe Marshall has revealed she previously suffered from domestic violence before her relationship with now-husband Benji Marshall.

In a brave and at times emotional interview, the TV and radio presenter made her past public in a video throwing her support behind the NRL's Voice Against Violence campaign.

The purpose of the campaign is to assist the rugby league community to prevent violence against women and children.



RNZ: Huge rallies across France denounce domestic violence

Marches have been held in dozens of French cities to condemn femicide and other forms of gender-based violence.

Using the hashtag #NousToutes (All of Us), protesters accused the authorities of turning a blind eye to the problem.

Measures to tackle domestic violence are expected to be unveiled on Monday.

France has one of the highest rates of murders linked to domestic violence in Western Europe, with at least 115 women killed by their partners or ex-partners this year alone, local media say.



1 News Now: France pledges hundreds of millions of dollars to stop deadly domestic violence



RNZ: New Caledonians march for women's rights

A rally in Noumea has called for more money to be made available to combat violence against women in New Caledonia.

About 100 people, mostly women, marched from the seat of government to the Congress and then to the French High Commission.



Stuff: South Auckland man who slashed his wife's throat freed after 10 years in prison

A man who slashed his wife's throat and left her body for their son to find has been released after serving 10 years in prison.

At Keleti Seau's sentencing in 2009, Justice Patricia Courtney's voice began to shake as she spoke of how the murder had affected the couple's children. 

Seau murdered his wife, Atonauga, on Boxing Day 2006 in their Ōtara, south Auckland home.

Justice Courtney said the couple's children were too emotional to make victim impact statements and the murder had resulted in the loss of both their parents.



Stuff: Auckland mum found guilty of attempting to murder her disabled son

A mother has been found guilty of attempted murder after trying to kill her disabled adult son.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been on trial at the High Court in Auckland.

According to the Crown, the woman intended to kill her son by drowning him in the Manukau Harbour on May 13, 2018.

The man was found alive the next morning on rocks at the end of a beach in Weymouth, south Auckland by a passerby.

The defendant's lawyers Jonathon Hudson and Paul Borich said there wasn't reliable evidence that the drowning attempt happened and there were issues with whether the woman was capable of forming intent.



Stuff: Northland woman who stabbed partner to death jailed for three years

The daughters of a man stabbed through the heart by his partner say they are devastated by the sentence given to his killer.

Julieta Hurenga Beattie, 47, from Onerahi pleaded guilty to manslaughter after she stabbed Richard Kere Bristow to death in Moerewa in September 2018.

In the High Court in Whangārei on Wednesday, Beattie was sentenced to three years' jail by Justice Paul Davison.

The relationship between Beattie and Bristow was volatile and unstable, the judge said, with Bristow emotionally abusing Beattie and twice strangling her.

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NZ Herald: 17 years of child abuse: 'Righteous' Christian mum jailed for 'sadistic' abuse of her nine children

A Kiwi mum punished her nine children over several years for their "sins" by making them do demeaning tasks such as holding bricks above their heads for hours on end and submerging them in a swimming pool during winter.

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Category: News Media