Wednesday, 4 July 2018

A Nation From Whom God Has Turned His Face

Our Enemy Is Within The Walls

New Zealand's record on family violence is so bad, we are told, that it makes us one of the worst countries in the OECD.  The matter is complex, deep rooted, and inter-generational. As a nation it appears we have no way out.

The Women's Refuge Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ang Jury says that family violence is a constant in New Zealand society.
It is estimated that responding to family violence accounts for 41 per cent of a frontline police officer's time.  However, the Ministry of Justice victims of crimes survey estimates only about 25 per cent of domestic violence is reported.

Police data reveals the total number of family violence investigations during the past decade has also risen rapidly - a rise Dr Ang Jury, the chief executive of Women's Refuge, says is far outgrowing what could be attributed to just population increases.  [NZ Herald]
The numbers of family violence police investigations increases annually.
Total number of family violence police investigations
• 2007 - 69,729
• 2008 - 73,280
• 2009 - 79,257
• 2010 - 86,764
• 2011 - 89,884
• 2012 - 87,639
• 2013 - 95,061
• 2014 - 101,955
• 2015 - 110,126
• 2016 - 118,910
Any trend observable, do you think?
  The NZ Police point out--doubtless with some merit--that the rise in police investigations can be partially explained by the higher reporting rates to the authorities, including to the police--hence a more complete recording of family violence incidents.

The majority of family violence (or family harm, as the NZ Police now prefer to call it) occurs between former or current married or de facto couples.
Recorded assaults against only women and where the relationship between the victim and the offender was identified further shed light on domestic violence trends.  In 2014 (from July to December only) there were 5068 cases where the relationship was identified between a women and her attacker.  For all of 2015 that number was 9933 and in 2016 it was recorded at 9637.

Of those identified in 2014, 55 per cent of offenders were the partner or ex-partner or boy/girlfriend or ex-boy/girlfriend of the woman.  It was 55 per cent again in 2015 and 2016.  Only about 8 per cent of all assaults against women are conducted by strangers, according to the police figures, while 77 per cent of all assaults against women come at the hands of family.

Jury said the statistics only paint part of the picture.  Unfortunately unless the victim is willing to make a complaint, even if offered assistance, "nothing much happens", she said.
The outstanding reality is that most of assaults against women come from "family"--that is, from people who once declared and professed loyalty and affection, if not love, for each other.

Our society has lost its moral compass.  For far few couples, it would seem, there is no moral Geiger counter that begins to sound in the heart, in the soul's conscience, that losing one's temper, taken with uncontrolled rage  and hatred--however temporary or fleeting--is wrong.  It is wicked.  It is evil.  But our moral compass has had its face scraped, so that realities like wickedness and evil are not spoken of, let alone discussed.

It is here that we come to the crucial issue.  New Zealand has no moral compass--official or otherwise--that speaks in terms of evil and wickedness.  There is no sin in our national worldview.  There are mistakes.  There are errors.  There are wrong choices.  There are harmful acts.  But no sins.  We have raised generations who have no fear of God.

Even when a society is only nominally Christian it is not uncommon to find a widespread belief in God as our Judge.  There is a notion of a Day of Judgement.  An eternal reckoning.  There is a belief in Hell, and damnation.  In such societies, even non-Christians can be found fearing God--and their lifestyles and choices reflect it. But our secular world long ago gave away such notions.  We began to sow to the wind.  Now, as the Scripture warns, we are reaping the whirlwind.

77 per cent of all assaults against women come at the hands of family.  There is raging anger and hate in households where love, patience, kindness, and forgiveness ought to be found above all else.   Our society is showing the hallmarks of a nation from whom God has turned His face.  This ought to be  feared above all other catastrophes.

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