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NZ CWL cites cases of domestic violence

The Catholic Women's League in New Zealand has documented cases of violence after receiving a questionnaire on the subject earlier this year from the World Union of Christian Women's Organisations (WUCWO).

CWL members had to know the women victims personally, or had to have heard about them from people they actually knew.

WUCWO said it needed the information so that when their representatives spoke at international gatherings, they knew their statements were based on actual experiences and not on generalised knowledge.

The league's international secretary for New Zealand, Margaret O'Connor, said she received responses from about half the country's 120 branches. From those, she forwarded five testimonies to WUCWO.

One testimony was from a woman whose sister was verbally abused for 40 of the 42 years that she was married.

"She gradually lost all confidence in herself and had very low self-esteem," said the testimony. "She constantly tried to please her husband and tried to keep the peace in the family home for the sake of the two children."

The New Zealand report included confirmed there are "certainly lots of people hurting out there", and "if nothing else, this exercise had made a lot of us more aware of the true situation in our country".

NZ Catholic

World Union of Christian Women's Organisations (WUCWO)

23 Oct 2002