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Ten years of The Family Lawyer!

May 14, 2019

Ten years! Hard to believe but this blog has been quietly ticking along for ten years. Phew – where did those ten years go?

At Family Law Results, this week we’ve been celebrating by sharing our favourite blogs over on our Facebook page.

Lauren Aspin, stella-solicitor at FLR, picked her favourite – the op-ed article from the NZ Herald that I wrote in the wake of ‘those’ pictures of Nigella Lawson and her husband, Charles Saatchi. Here’s why she chose it:

“The Blog I have chosen is the article about family violence and Nigella Lawson.

Why?

This blog post resonates with me on many levels.

Firstly the way that the violent incident between Nigella Lawson and Saatchi confronts our assumptions about who the victims of family violence can be.

Some of the most professionally intelligent, successful and savvy women I have known have been known to be emotionally stupid in their relationships and personal choices”.

The fact that domestic violence can happen to anyone  stands out as this is a conversation I have had with clients, and my own friends and family. None of us is immune – we can all make poor decisions or allow behaviours to happen that are not ok and which, in hindsight, can seem unbelievable. It comes down to conversations I have had with friends, often female friends, speaking to them about challenging behaviours from their partner that are not ok nor respectful, and opening their eyes that sometimes these little things can mount up.

I also think it resonates as it can be easy to victim blame, but I always try to remind my clients that the behaviour is the issue of the perpetrator not them, and that they are not alone. Many people, from all walks of life find themselves in relationships marred by family violence. We just don’t talk about it – that’s why no one knows. Or we have campaigns that say “It’s not Ok” but “It’s” and how it looks is not discussed

I think the post also speaks to  wider issues we have in New Zealand Society and the reticence of people to intervene when they see violent, racists, xenophobic,  homophobic, sexist or sexually inappropriate behaviour etc happening. This issue is so prevalent throughout New Zealand, we think it’s not our problem, and leave people or avert our eyes, or don’t challenge people. This morning, I was listening on the Radio about bullying in schools being such a huge issue, and how this is symptomatic of these wider issues of NZ society.  This has been a huge talking point of late, in the wake of the Christchurch Terror Attacks, and I think we all need to do some soul searching and be brave to stand up to people, and know that it is the right thing to do to speak up, speak out and challenge anti-social behaviours.”

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