we had our national day of action against rape culture. it was awesome to see so many people out on the streets, raising their voices on this issue. and it's good to see that there may be some changes to the law as a result of these protests.
but as time goes on & the pressure goes off, it's likely that there will be less change than we hoped for. this is why we're holding a public meeting in hamilton tomorrow night, to have a discussion on what needs to change & what needs to be improved. hopefully we can talk about meaningful ways to change both our culture and our institutions. and hopefully we can come up with some action points to take forward.
it's election year next year, and most parties will be working on policies to take forward into the election. it's important to make sure that issues around justice & funding in relation to sexual violence & abuse remain at the forefront of policy debates. if there is a time to push for meaningful change, it's now.
for those of you who are already active in politics & campaigning, please don't let the issues slide. raise it with your party caucus reps, your party's leadership & those who you know will be active in your party's campaign team. the amount of discussion and debate that arose out of the "roast busters" incident shows that many, many people care about this stuff, and many people want things to change.
for those who aren't so deeply involved in politics, small acts make a difference. letters to MPs, letters to the editor, questions at public meetings (& particularly at meet-the-candidates events in the campaign) will help to keep focus on the issues. it's all basic stuff, the building blocks of any political campaign.
if you need motivation & you haven't read them all, then read through the testimonies of survivors in their own words (huge trigger warning - it's tough reading). but i think so many of us have our own experiences to draw on. the problem isn't that we don't care enough, it's that there are so many things to care about, so many fronts that we're fighting on, that we run out of energy. or sometimes the issues are too triggering, the wounds still too fresh for us to be able to take on activism as well. i understand that.
for those who do have the energy, and particularly if you're in the waikato, i hope you'll come to the meeting tomorrow night. i'm a little nervous about it - i hope that the discussion is constructive. but also pretty excited to have speakers like louise nicholas, dr neville robertson & catherine o'kelly. here are the full details: