The work of the Marlborough Violence Intervention Project (MVIP) makes an important contribution to making Marlborough a better and safer community.
MVIP is a network of representatives of local organisations and agencies which are all dedicated to the vision of Marlborough being a violence and abuse-free society.
The network's mission is to:
● Work collaboratively to promote the vision and work in a way that reflects Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
● Encourage individuals and organisations to act when they learn about instances of violence.
● Raise the awareness of whanau/family-related violence in Marlborough by harnessing the energy of all communities represented in the region.
● Promote an awareness of what victims of violence experience and prioritise their wellbeing and safety.
● Promote and support initiatives that encourage violence-free living.
Awareness raising is crucial - domestic violence is everyone's business. Domestic violence affects whanau and community in many ways; not only the victims but also perpetrators.
Sometimes it is difficult to get the message through, however. With so much of our daily media focused on violence - news, movies, programmes - where does this leave us as individuals and communities?
Violence overload in the media does have an effect and will influence people's behaviour. It can also have a disempowering effect on people wanting to be proactive and help create a more peaceful society. The problem can feel overwhelming.
But as a community, as a society, we have a collective responsibility. We have to work together to make this a better, safer and more peaceful place to live.
How can we empower ourselves to look at and acknowledge violence, and especially domestic violence, at the local level and actually do something about it?
We have to help each other to become more aware and mindful. We also have to think about alternatives to violence. We have to empower each other to be proactive in positive ways.
Peace begins within every individual, at home, in the whanau.
Imagine a society where everyone could live in peace with themselves and therefore in peace with others and where domestic violence is an unknown concept.
People wanting to support peace in a positive way can join a Peace Walk in Blenheim next Sunday, September 23.
It starts at 1pm from the riverside amphitheatre at the bottom of High St and follows the beautiful Taylor River walkway to Brayshaw Park.
Alternatively, a ticket can be bought ($2 per person) on the Peace Train (also known as Riverside Railway).
* Andreja Phillips works for Community Law Marlborough, one of the Marlborough Violence Intervention Project network members.
- The Marlborough Express