Saturday, February 18, 2012

Rural Women

I've just got back from a two day leadership course with Rural Women NZ.

Yes that's the old fashioned,
elderly rural women's advocacy group 
that has been around for ever and ever.

But it's also not.

There were 15 women on my course
the youngest was 27
and the eldest probably 60.

We came from across the country,
though there were a few from Marton and Marlborough.
I was it from Canterbury.
We gathered in Wellington
to listen to some amazing leaders.
We were totally immersed and engaged
in issues facing our rural communities.

We were split into two groups and
asked to do a presentation each.

Our topic was Rural Family Violence.
Fun topic, I know.

We took a good look at ourselves,
our communities and the advantages that being rural
gives to those with abusive tendencies.
Advantages like
isolation and natural community secrecy,
fearce loyality and family connections.

Makes us sound like sixed toed hillbillies.

But we are odd birds in the countryside.
We are super involved in our communities
but hold our cards very close to our chests.
We offer help at every turn
but are not good at asking for it.
We love to be social
but on our own terms,
I call it structured exhibitionism.

We focused on the Are You Ok? website
This campaign is currently running on NZ TV.
But right now I want you to stop and
really think about domestic violence in your community.

Think about it this way.
If you saw a person being hit in their backyard
would you have the courage and the awareness
to do something about it?

You'd be surprised who doesn't.

It's surprising how the question
Are you OK?

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