In the early 1970s the Ministry of Works was regarded as one. Later Microsoft Works was another. I discovered about 5 years ago that Military Intelligence definitely was one.
I'd never thought of that as an oxymoron. But it is.
A lady named Jude Simpson heads up the national "It's Not Ok" campaign. She was in town last week, as keynote speaker after about a dozen local service agencies - and the churches - had each briefly told the Mayoral candidates what they believed were the priorities for Marlborough in the immediate future. She asked the question: "Who would put those 2 words together - Family and Violence?"
Family violence is a phrase we are only too used to hearing. We're so used to hearing it that we are often no longer thinking critically, other than a silent, even unconscious "tut-tut" perhaps, when it's spoken of.
Family Violence is not limited to any particular demographic of our society. Don't ever think it can't be happening even in churched families. Jude told of her upbringing in a well-to-do NZ white family, and how verbal abuse in her family dehumanized and nearly destroyed her. It presents in all sorts of ways: physical, verbal, sexual. Even spiritual abuse.
The ads on TV alerted us to the need to speak up when we are aware of it. Unfortunately, largely due to our presumptions about it not being in "our" sector of society, we develop a deafness to it. But it's like a cancer. Left untreated it can kill. Jude certainly challenged us to ask which NZ woman who is alive now will be dead in the next 3 weeks because of family violence. Statistically that's what's going to happen, somewhere in NZ. And Blenheim is just as likely a place as anywhere else in the country for that death to happen. Police attend 24 callouts each week here, to "domestic incidents".
I want to draw your attention to this cancer. The very place that should afford safety - the family - can be a place of danger.
Please be aware of what's going on, and if you suspect something, speak up, preferably to the person you are concerned about.
Speaking of the prophet God would send, the prophet Malachi said: