Eastern Courier : January 28th 2011
3 EASTERN COURIER, JANUARY 28, 2011 NEWS SUNDAY 13TH MARCH 2011 START TIME 9.30AM rOunD THe BaYs PORTS OF AUCKLAND www.roundthebays.co.nz ENTER NOW! SUPPORTING THESE GREAT CHARITIES Stepping out from abuse Help at hand: Christine Cowan-James chats to a Stepping Stones participant. Photo: NICOLA WILLIAMS By NICOLA WILLIAMS IMMIGRANTS lacking a support network when they leave an abus- ive relationship find it at Stepping Stones. The course run by the Eastern Women's Refuge gives women the tools to move on with life and seek the support and camaraderie of women who can relate to their experiences. All the women take each other under their wing,'' says a South African participant who had no fam- ily here to reach out to. Course facilitator Christine Cowan-James says immigrants face extra hurdles when leaving relationships. These include lack of family support, language barriers, heightened stigma in some cultures and lack of knowledge about sup- port agencies, New Zealand law and what their rights are. She says it's a brave step'' to bring attention to what they have been living with in small ethnic communities. Women need a reasonable under- standing of English to participate in the course but every effort is made with those who are not native speakers, Ms Cowan-James says. We recently had a lady from China and we made it a really com- fortable space for her by using dif- ferent words until she understood. She really got a lot out of it.'' The refuge plans to hold courses entirely in Punjabi and Hindi to meet growing demand. The South African participant, who doesn't want to be identified, says being away from her family meant she had the freedom to make her own decisions. I knew from the beginning there were other people who would be able to help,'' she says. She left a physically and emotion- ally abusive relationship of 23 years. She thought her husband would be able to change his behaviour but when he also became violent with their teenage daughter she knew she needed to leave. She says she was more concerned about her daughter's welfare than she had ever been for her own. I was a fool for too long, I thought maybe he would get bet- ter.'' While it was daunting at first, opening up to the other women in the group became a huge strength to her. It helped to know she was not alone in her experience. She valued learning about the reasons behind certain behaviours and the impact of violence on chil- dren. The course was a therapeutic healing process and gave her practi- cal tools she could apply to herself. She encourages other women to gain the empowerment to move on with their life. She says the other women became her support network and she has remained friends with them. Christine really has the empathy and compassion for us,'' she says. The next courses start on Febru- ary 4 in Howick and February 7 in Pakuranga. Each session is for two hours and runs weekly for 10 weeks. Phone 576-6551 for more information. IN BRIEF Celebrations Auckland has plenty of events on offer to celebrate its 171st birthday. ''The Auckland Anniversary weekend celebrations will offer something for everyone and will bring Auckland together to celebrate as one region for the first time,'' mayor Len Brown says. Events include the Auckland International Buskers Festival, the Auckland Seafood Festival, Oceanbridge Anniversary Day Regatta, the St Jerome's Laneway Festival in Aotea Square, the Royal New Zealand Navy ship open days, boat tours of the Ports of Auckland facilities and activities at the Voyager NZ Maritime Museum. A fireworks display will be visible from many vantage points around the harbour area on Sunday evening. Go to www.auckland council.govt.nz/events for a full programme of events across Auckland. Three charged Three men face charges after taking a car and attempted to evade police. The vehicle was pulled over on Kilkenny Drive at about 7pm last Wednesday because it didn't have registration plates. A police officer apprehended one of the men while the other two fled through private property and jumped over fences to escape police. The police helicopter helped to locate the two men for ground staff to apprehend. A 25-year-old Howick man was charged with driving while disqualified and theft of a car. A 23-year-old Papatoetoe man and a 28-year-old from Panmure were charged with unlawfully getting into a vehicle and unlawfully being on property. The passengers were due to reappear in court this week and the driver is to reappear on February 10. Generous shoppers Supermarket shoppers contributed more than $235,000 to the Pike River miners' trust fund. The money was collected at Progressive Enterprises' supermarkets from November 25 to December 19, to support the families of the 29 miners lost at the Pike River coal mine. Mysterious pollution problem dries up leaving council staff in the dark Oil draining into a neighbourhood stream for nearly a year seems to have dried up. The discharge into the creek behind Greenmount Drive in East Tamaki had pollution response investigators baffled. Auckland Council resource con- sents manager Heather Harris says there have been no new occurrences for several weeks yet monitoring continues. She says extensive investigations failed. Meanwhile, the council has identified a possible source for a spill of up to 100 litres into Pakuranga Stream last December. It appears to have been acciden- tal. We are waiting on further evi- dence to confirm whether that is the case before deciding on a course of action, including whether enforcement is required,'' Ms Harris says. She says the council clean-up was effective with minimal impact on the creek environment. Call 377-3107 to report pol- lution.
January 26th 2010
February 2nd 2011