When Early first arrived I was admitted to Ward 96 and he was in nearby Ward 92. There is a security door between the two wards, which requires a swipe card and only the mothers of babies in Ward 92, who are themselves in Ward 96, are allowed the cards. Any visitors to my baby were only allowed in, one at a time, with me or the baby's father. It seemed a bit over the top, until it became apparent that there was a mother and baby in the wards who had a father attempting to visit despite her strong desire for him not to do so. To keep her safe, and the babies, hers and ours, it was necessary to be super vigilant about that door between Ward 96 and Ward 92, and no doubt at reception for NICU proper, because even here, even in the newborn ward of a hospital, there was a threat of violence.
Then there was this very sad sad story in Whangarei, unfolding at the same time that we were all guarding that door on the 9th floor:
Rachal, 20, died in Whangarei Hospital on June 10 after suffering a severe asthma attack at home. She was eight-and-a-half months pregnant. Her baby was delivered by caesarean section while she was in a coma, but he died in Starship the following day. He was named Robert....Rachal was in the care of the Dingwall Trust, a care and protection facility in Papatoetoe, South Auckland, from nine until she turned 17.The trust's director, Tracie Shipton, says staff had serious concerns about what would happen to Rachal if she returned home. It was also feared she wouldn't get the medical treatment she needed for her asthma and eczema.
The violence is real, the threat is real; it happens everywhere even if we don't see it. There is a lot of talk about terrorism, focused on the international scene, but it seems to me that so much terror, so much fear and harm, is in everyday lives because of men who hate women, men who abuse women.
At the root of most of the recent mass murders we have seen has been a man (or a group of men) who do not see women as full humans; Dylann Roof (Charleston, USA) reckoned he was protecting white women from rape by black men, yet the people he shot dead were mostly black women, and his extreme racism seems to have been coupled with an incredibly patriarchal (at best) attitude to females; Man Haron Monis (Sydney, Australia) had a history of violence against women which, had it been addressed, may have averted the Lindt Cafe siege; Anders Breivik (Norway) blamed feminism for eroding the culture of Europe and advocated for a resurgence of patriarchy; Jody Hunt (West Virginia, USA) killed his ex-girlfriend first; Elliot Rodger (California, USA) specifically drove to a sorority house for his second batch of killings, to punish women in general for rejecting him.
We cannot properly address and eliminate violence against women until we address and eliminate sexism. Until we can create a society where women are equal, both in perception and reality, we will not stop all these deaths, assaults and rapes. And we have to at least try.
* Baby and I are both doing well thanks, just arrived v early for no discernable reason.