I’ve always been somewhat ambivalent about Anzac Day. I’ve never pinpointed quite why – there could be so many reasons – but today as I watched others commemorate, pay their respects, stand solemnly at their letterboxes, I think I may have figured it out.
Domestic violence – in particular violence towards women – has never not been a thing. There are all sorts of reasons why people are abusive, some are hurt so badly in childhood they descend into the realms of irredeemable. But war has played a big part, especially in nations like NZ where so many of the men of different eras went away to war.
They came back damaged. Many irretrievably. And those who suffered were their womenfolk and their children. And thus generational abuse becomes something we have to acknowledge.
So today, I choose not to think about anything but the pain that war brings. We stand at dawn services, many of us. We go for our grandfathers, fathers, uncles and on down the generations. We pay respects to the fallen, we go to give thanks to those who fought to keep us free.
But I’d like to see us acknowledge our great grandmothers, our grandmothers, and on to ou future generations who have suffered because of war. Who have lost their lives to DV at the hands of a wounded soldier. Suffered the emotional and psychological abuse of a husband and father so traumatised that they lash out at those closest to them.
War is not the only reason we have such huge amounts of domestic violence in this country. But I’m willing to be that’s one of it’s legacies.
Lest we forget.
May we remember.