- promoting a clearer understanding of men's experience -

MENZ.org.nz Logo

North Harbour Family Violence Prevention Project

This project is run by a sister organisation:'North Harbour Living Without Violence Collective Inc.' Their website says it is:

"a community organisation based in Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand. Our main purposes are to intervene in and stop men's violence against women, children and other men, to support and empower women and to promote their safety from men's violence. We have a strong belief that intervention work to reduce and/or stop family violence is best carried out within a co-ordinated community approach. In this we are supported by the key survivor agencies on the North Shore."

However, organisations and individuals with a male perspective are systematically excluded from the "co-ordinated community approach". The NHLWVC are in deep denial about the extent and impact of female violence.

gender-biased poster.

Picture: gender-biased poster at North Shore Family Court (April 2002) touting for business. No help is offered for men.

In the January 1998 edition of MENZ Issues I reported on attending a meeting of the NHFVPP, a pro-feminist group set up to network with and inform various agencies dealing with domestic violence. However, at the Feb 5th event it was announced that henceforth the meetings would be open to Project members only. At a subsequent meeting with the local Safer Communities Council (who were providing the funding), Project co-ordinator Reese Helmondollar explained to the Council how silencing and excluding opposing voices is crucial to the successful advancement of the pro-feminist agenda. He also claimed repeatedly that the Project is simply "implementing official government policy", providing an interesting insight into his organisation's perception of how extensively radical-feminist hegemony has been achieved.

Report on Research Project: 'From Abuse To Family Strength'. At a presentation made at a NHFVPP meeting on 4th Dec 1997, we heard that the Health Research Council of New Zealand is spending $320,000 over three years to pay 6 part time female researchers (equivalent to 3.1 full time) to follow the progress of 40 women, all who have recently left their relationships, for two years. Discussing the study's objectives, one presenter told us: "Leaving needs to be made easier, to reduce reliance on heterosexual partnerships."

"Male Victims Just a Drop in the Bucket"

In early 1999 SafeNet and the North Harbour Family Violence Prevention Project distributed 25,000 cards containing emergency help lines across the North Shore. The cards will also have information about various support agencies. Project co-ordinator Margie Keys said that forms of abuse are outlined, including verbal, isolation, physical, cultural, sexual and emotional abuse, as well as intimidation and 'assuming authority'. Although the Men's Centre North Shore phone number appeared on a draft version of the card, it was removed from the final version after "much consideration, consultation and thoughts with organisations and agencies throughout the city," according to SafeNet chairperson Jill Nerheny. Ms Keys admitted that there are some male victims of domestic violence, but said that they are just "a drop in the bucket compared to the number of women who are affected."

On 2nd Sept 1999, Dad's Army picketed NHFVPP after a complaint by a man forced to attend their Living Without Violence course was unable to be resolved.

At the 1999 AGM of the National Network of Stopping Violence Services, Reese Helmondollar was deeply involved in some highly questionable political manipulations within that organisation.

Cash for Violence Counselling In May 2001 the North Harbour Living Without Violence Collective scored a $105,000 contract from Child Youth and Family to provide a free counselling program for young witnesses of domestic violence.

Another protest by fathers against NHFVPP took place on 7th of March 2002.

Next: National Network of Stopping Violence Services