Weekly Media Roundup

December 03, 2021 at 3:32 PM

RNZ: Breaking Silence 

NEW SEASON. This compelling series about domestic abuse in New Zealand will change the way you think about violence towards women. Made with the support of NZ On Air. 


NZ Herald: Pet Refuge bracing for busy Christmas as family violence tipped to spike 

The country's first shelter dedicated to housing pets of family violence survivors is bracing for a busy Christmas. 

Police predict family violence will steeply increase over the festive season. 

Family harm calls made to police last year jumped almost 8 per cent over the Christmas period, with police responding to 16,833 incidences nationwide in December and 16,905 in January - up from an average of 14,079 calls a month through the rest of the year. 

On average, police attend one episode of family violence every four minutes. 


Stuff: Rape survivors sometimes denied long-term ACC treatment if they have other trauma 

Rape survivors are being denied longer-term mental health support from ACC because they may have experienced other traumatic events, like domestic violence, Green Party MP Jan Logie says. 

ACC’s sensitive claims process determines if a person is eligible for longer-term cover through an assessment which includes working out whether their mental injury is a result of the abuse. 

“We know that the system is really failing our survivors at the moment,” Logie, who is her party’s ACC spokeswoman, said. 

“Part of the assessment is people having to prove that they are able to pinpoint that mental injury caused by the sexual violence. There are people who have had their claims for ongoing support from rape declined because they had experienced family violence as a child. It is deeply offensive.” 


RNZ: Sharing intimate content without permission has 'serious consequences' - Netsafe 

A young woman whose nude photos were posted on a porn site without her permission fears the perpetrators of online sexual abuse don't realise their actions could have consequences. 

As sharing intimate images and videos becomes a normal part of consensual relationships, there are growing concerns about the harm that's being done when someone breaches their partner's trust. 


RNZ: Woman’s photo posted to porn site but only perpetrator gets access to counselling 

A young woman who was the victim of online image-based sexual abuse was left for months without any mental health support, while the perpetrator of the crime was getting counselling as part of his rehabilitation. 

The woman says that's not fair and even though she has finally found a therapist who'll see her, she's facing a hefty bill, because ACC won't cover her treatment. 


Stuff: BNZ and other lenders are waiving debts incurred in abusive relationships 

Bank of New Zealand and some other lenders have waived the debts of victims of economic abuse. 

Economic abuse, and the economic harm it causes, is, as AUT University senior lecturer Ayesha Scott called it, the “weaponising of money” by an intimate partner. 

Victim-survivor advocates said economic abuse could include a variety of controlling methods. It often included male partners, or relatives, of a woman coercing her to take out loans in her name for their benefit. 

Women, and less commonly men, who suffered economic abuse often found the consequences of that abuse would linger long after they escape the relationship as they struggled with damaged credit scores and debts that they were left to repay alone, advocates said. 


Scoop: BNZ Sets Sights On Tackling Economic Harm 

Press Release: BNZ 

Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) has acknowledged today, the first Economic Harm Awareness Day, the important work being done to tackle Economic Harm by Good Shepherd NZ and other Non-Government Organisations and is stepping up its efforts to tackle the issue. 

BNZ has an economic harm support team and is cracking down on customers using its systems to send abusive and inappropriate messages. 

BNZ General Manager Customer Assist, Martin King, says “New Zealand’s poor record of domestic and inter-partner violence is well-known, but one thing that isn’t well-known is the role of money in it. 

“Money and finance are enormously powerful tools for good, but in the hands of a perpetrator, it can be used to create financial instability, to control, manipulate, and trap people, wreaking havoc both during the relationship and even long after the relationship has ended. 

“We are enthusiastic supporters of Good Shepherd NZ’s work to raise more awareness of this issue, and we are proud to back New Zealand’s first Economic Harm Awareness Day,” says King. 

RNZ: Police need new approach to quell rising gang violence - expert 

A gang expert says police may need to monitor gangs extremely heavily - or get them in a room together - in a bid to quash any tit-for-tat violence that may be brewing. 

There is growing concern about what appears to be a rise in gang-linked violence, particularly shootings in Auckland. There have been a number of shootings of homes, shops and people in recent months in Auckland. 

Last Wednesday a man was critically injured in Glen Eden in broad daylight; five Comancheros members have since been charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. 

Two days later, two people were hospitalised and two arrested after they entered a home also in Glen Eden and attacked those inside, Stuff reported. 


NZ Herald: Auckland gun violence: 'Houses are getting shot up, people gunned down' - more than 900 firearm offences this year 

A father of two boys, a grandfather who loved rugby league and a young teenager are among those shot and killed as gun violence and gang wars persist in Auckland amid the Delta community outbreak. 

A spate of shootings – some fatal - have plagued the streets of West and South Auckland in the past three months as the city remains under tight Covid-19 restrictions. 

Although latest police data on firearm offences show no spike in gun violence this year compared with previous years, a string of high-profile cases has left residents feeling scared. 


Stuff: Gaps, inequities and staff shortages in maternal mental health services 

An increasing number of women with maternal mental health issues such as postnatal depression are not receiving vital treatment intended to keep families together, protect babies and reduce the risk of maternal suicide. 

A Ministry of Health stocktake of maternal health services has found increasing complexity of mental health needs at the nation’s hospitals with officials warning of a huge amount of unmet need in the community, a shortage of staff, gaps in services, systemic inequities and outdated models of care. 

Hospital staff often had ideas to better the service, the report said, but were “unable to implement those under existing arrangements”. 

Very few of the nation’s district health boards have any focus on Pacific or Asian women despite the longitudinal Growing Up in New Zealand study finding they are twice as likely to experience antenatal depression than New Zealand European women, and few have kaupapa Māori maternal mental health service. 


Stuff: You kept us safe, you bought us time - thank you, Auckland 

Welcome back, Auckland. It's been a minute. 

You've spent 188 days locked down, under either level 3 or 4 restrictions since the beginning of the pandemic. 

The world laughed when a single Delta case put the country into lockdown, on August 17. Since then, you’ve spent 107 days away from family, friends, school, work, entertainment and services. 

Lockdowns are hard for everyone. And for each, the experience is different. 


RNZ: One in three employees high risk for burnout during pandemic 

Workplace burnout is soaring as workers find it harder to balance their work life with pressures from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

New research from the Auckland University of Technology (AUT), shows that one in three employees are at high burnout risk, up from one in nine at the beginning of the pandemic, when the survey began. 

Workers who were tethered to their office via smart devices had the highest risk of burnout, followed by Māori employees and workers with high demands. 


Stuff: 'Devastated': MediaWorks sexual assault complainant's bid declined 

A former MediaWorks employee who alleges she was sexually assaulted twice while working for the company says she is "devastated" after it declined her bid to make a late personal grievance claim - despite the broadcaster's public support of survivors. 

Under New Zealand's employment law, there is a 90-day time limit for an employee to raise a personal grievance but companies can choose to allow claims well after that deadline. 

Sandra* applied to MediaWorks for a late consideration of her personal grievance claim after speaking to Maria Dew as part of the QC's independent review into the workplace culture at MediaWorks. 

Sandra's claim relates to her time at MediaWorks from 2009 to 2011. 


RNZ: Australia to introduce new laws to force media platforms to unmask online trolls 

Australia will introduce legislation to make social media giants provide details of users who post defamatory comments, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said today. 

The government has been looking at the extent of the responsibility of platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, for defamatory material published on their sites and comes after the country's highest court ruled that publishers can be held liable for public comments on online forums. 

The ruling caused some news companies like CNN to deny Australians access to their Facebook pages. 

"The online world should not be a wild west where bots and bigots and trolls and others are anonymously going around and can harm people," Morrison said at a televised press briefing. "That is not what can happen in the real world, and there is no case for it to be able to be happening in the digital world." 


NZ Herald: Domestic violence report addresses coercive control after car-fire murders 

Queensland will modernise domestic violence laws to include coercive control, following a landmark women's safety report and fearless campaigning. 

The highly anticipated report from the Women's Safety and Justice Task force was tabled in state parliament on Thursday afternoon, aimed at helping victims identify the subtle and vicious form of control. 

It also highlighted disturbing failings by law enforcement, with the task force's chair, Margaret McMurdo, detailing how "women perceived their perpetrators are emboldened by police, legal practitioners and judicial officers". 


RNZ: Samoa's Chief Justice says life must be better for women in Samoa 

Samoa's Chief Justice Satiu Simativa Perese says life must be better for women and children in Samoa. 

Giving the keynote address at a Catechesis retreat at Leauva'a, Chief Justice Satiu lamented the increase in cases before the court of violence and sexual crime against women. 

Chief Justice Satiu said there are far too many men who think it's ok to hit and beat women because they make them angry. 


Stuff: Tell me about it: The new Stuff podcast where women share their own, complicated stories 

A new Stuff podcast takes listeners behind-the-scenes of news stories to hear from the people at the centre of them, in their own words. Tell Me About It is an intimate look at the messy complexities of journalism and its impact on real lives. 


Stuff: Unfair shares: The rich own more than you think, and the struggling own much, much less 

Wealthy Kiwis have far more money than they’re letting on, and the gap between rich and poor is growing. Rob Stock reports. 


Stuff: Five gang members charged over West Auckland altercation plead not guilty 

Five Comanchero gang members charged in connection with a serious assault in West Auckland have pleaded not guilty. 

Last Wednesday, police charged the men, aged between 18 and 24, with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in relation to an alleged assault in Glen Eden which left a man in a critical condition. 

He is now in a serious condition in Auckland City Hospital. 


NewshubFamily of Shirley Reedy distraught her killer husband could be released from prison next year 

The whānau of a woman fatally strangled on her honeymoon are distraught that her killer could be released as soon as next year. 

Balclutha woman Shirley Reedy, 52, was strangled to death in a motel room by her husband, Rodney Fallowfield, on their belated honeymoon in 2020. 

During his trial, it was revealed it wasn't the first time for Fallowfield after a Crown witness testified that she had been strangled by him 30 years ago. 

"I thought, right, we've got you, you've done this before and you've killed my sister. Murder is going to be on the table. We're going to have the outcome she deserved," says Reedy's sister Roxanne Roxburgh. 

A jury found 53-year-old Fallowfield not guilty of murder, but the lesser charge of manslaughter.  

An expert on the effects of family violence on wāhine Māori told The Hui that the Crimes Act charge of strangulation introduced in 2018 needs to carry more weight. 

Stuff: Family and friends remember Kiwi mother killed in Australia 

Family and friends have taken to social media to remember a Kiwi woman killed in Australia, allegedly by a former partner. 

Mary Benedito, 25, was strangled on Saturday in her Gold Coast home. 

Police said they were called to the incident in Southport around 5pm, where they located the unresponsive and severely injured Benedito. She died later in Gold Coast University Hospital. 

Police initially charged her former partner Reo Te Whetu Marama Marsh, 34, with grievous bodily harm and strangulation. On Tuesday those charges were upgraded to murder. 

Following the attack, Marsh allegedly fled with their 11-month-old son to a motel inn in the Brisbane suburb of Oxley where Marsh met two women. 

Marsh was charged following a several-hour manhunt with the dog-squad, tracking him through a storage facility. 


Stuff: Police believe there are more victims of man sentenced to eight years' jail for historical sex crimes 

An Invercargill man has been sentenced to eight years and 11 months’ jail for historical sexual offending, and police believe there could be more victims throughout the South Island. 

Kenneth Murray Linwood was sentenced in the Christchurch District Court on Monday after admitting 17 charges, mostly dating back to Invercargill in the 1980s, against three female victims. 


Stuff: Man who forced girlfriend into car 'lucky' to not be charged with kidnapping 

A man who forced his girlfriend into his car and told her he wanted to “put his foot down and drive into a power pole” was lucky to not be charged with kidnapping, a court has heard. 

Quade Te-Peeti Antonio Tai, 32, coerced the woman he had been in a relationship with for two weeks to get into his car, took her phone, and locked the doors. 

Tai appeared via audiovisual link in the Blenheim District Court on Monday for sentencing on charges of assault on a person in a family relationship, threatening behaviour and speaking threateningly. 

Stuff: Mum 'lucky' nothing happened to baby who chewed on meth packet, says judge 

A judge has told a 30-year-old mum she was “lucky” nothing happened to her 11-month-old baby after he chewed on a small plastic bag that had contained methamphetamine and she failed to get him medical treatment. 

The woman, who pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal nuisance in October, avoided a jail sentence when she appeared in the Christchurch District Court on Thursday. 

Defence counsel Jennifer North, Crown prosecutor Shawn McManus, and a report from Community Probation all agreed that the woman should be released on supervision. 

Judge Jim Large put the mother on intensive supervision for 18 months. He also ordered that she attend a violence intervention programmeprogrammes arranged through Oranga Tamariki, and programmes to attend her “rehabilitative needs”. 

Stuff: Heated father-son argument over Covid-19 vaccine turns violent 

A disagreement between family members over the Covid-19 vaccination turned ugly in Bay of Plenty when a man turned to violence. 

Dujon Wiremu Bettridge, 28, appeared in the Whakatāne District Court on this week to be sentenced on charges of wilful damage, assaulting a person in a family relationship and threatening speech. 

On a Saturday in November, Bettridge had been drinking when he and his father began to argue about the vaccine.Play 

Bettridge, who is unvaccinated, and his father, who is vaccinated and suffers from various health conditions, became involved in a heated argument. 

The disagreement turned violent, however, details of the father’s injuries and Bettridge’s actions were not specified in court. 

Category: News Media