A sense of shame holds women back
WOMEN hold back from reporting family violence because of a sense of shame about their perceived roles in society, according to a New Zealand expert due to give a seminar in Bundaberg today.
The CQ University campus in Bundaberg will be one of the sites hosting a videolink for the seminar by researcher and activist Dr Ang Jury for the university’s Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research (CDFVR).
The seminar, titled Shame on who?, will be videolinked in Building 1, Room 12, at the Bundaberg campus from 10.30am to 11.30am.
Dr Jury is the manager of Palmerston North Women’s Refuge and later this year will take up a position on the governing body, the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges Aotearoa New Zealand.
In an interview at the weekend Dr Jury said one of the issues with family violence in New Zealand was the lack of reporting, because women tended not to seek help early.
“A sense of shame underpins the reasons for not reporting family violence,” she said.
“I found that sense of shame was about women’s inability to do something about it.”
Dr Jury said women in abusive relationships were faced with a lose-lose situation.
They could either stay in the relationship and allow children to see and hear the violence, or they could walk away with the children and break up the family unit.
“Once I’d got my head around that I started looking at where the ideas came from about what it means to be a good mother,” she said.
“What I’m saying in the end is we need to change some of our expectations around on what women are supposed to be doing.”
Dr Jury said many of the women her agency worked with felt there was a certain sense of shame in seeking help because of violence in their families.
“There is clearly a certain class of women who are seen as refuge clients,” she said.
“We have a lot of women who have reason to leave an abusive relationship, but they hesitate because they feel it indicates something about them.”
Details regarding video-linked sites and how to register can be found on CDFVR’s website.