“Make New Zealand Family Violence Free”

Venkat Raman – 
venkat@indiannewslink.co.nz

“Every man in this room should stand against family violence and pledge to make New Zealand a Family Violence Free Zone,” Vic Tamati, a promoter of ‘It’s Not OK’ Campaign and Founder of ‘Safe Man, Safe Families’ Project said, speaking at the Gandhi Nivas Fundraising dinner held on September 16, 2016.

“Your job is to make sure that you do that, so that those who remain sitting (the women) are forever, and ever, safe,” he said.

Tamati was the Guest Speaker at the second annual dinner series held at Waipuna Conference Centre, Highbrook.

Tamati has been doing talks around the country since 2007, becoming involved with ‘It’s Not Ok’ campaign, after he was approached by a film crew looking for someone who had perpetrated family violence and changed their lives to make an advertisement for the campaign.

Violent past

make-new-zealand-a-team-webHe explained his family circumstances and how he was beaten by his father, who migrated from Samoa more than 65 years ago.

He did the same to his wife and children, until he realised one day “it was all wrong.”

He has since turned a new leaf, advocating non-violence and asking men to do the same. He has never let his anger get the better of him.

His speech at Gandhi Nivas was punctuated by humour and hard-hitting reality, and an honest admission of a past that had caused him, his family and the community around him pain and grief.

Gandhi Nivas is a partnership between Auckland-based medical provider network Nirvana Health Group, Counties Manukau Police and Sahaayta Counselling and Social Support. The partnership was established using a Lotteries Commission grant and receives on-going funding from Total Healthcare PHO and other private funders.

The Concept

The concept grew from discussions between Counties Manukau Police and their South Asian Police Advisory Board (members of which are Ranjna Patel, Venkat Raman, Ibrar Sheikh, Moses Singh, Sohail Chaudary and Manjula Walgampola), with the objective of providing early intervention and prevention services to people identified at risk of committing domestic violence to help them change their behaviour, reduce the likelihood of further domestic violence and increase safety for families.

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