[Northern Advocate 19/09/15] A Kaikohe group campaigning against sexual violence is holding a rally next week to highlight the long-term harm caused by child sexual abuse.
The group is also considering a protest to coincide with Auckland’s “Boobs on Bikes” in October, saying the parade normalises pornography and could lead to more behaviour like that of the infamous Roast Busters.
Organiser Mike Shaw, a Kaikohe pastor, said next Thursday’s rally aimed to raise public awareness of “the death of childhood caused by sexual abuse”.
Marchers would carry a coffin down Broadway to make their point. Fifty people took part in an earlier march in July but he expected more this time.
Mr Shaw said a march would not change anything on its own but it would give a voice to the pain of sexual abuse survivors.
“And if people are talking about it, solutions and actions will be generated,” he said.
Already work was under way to provide Kaikohe schools with information about intervention and prevention of abuse, as well arranging support when survivors had the courage to speak out.
People were getting better at speaking out against domestic violence, thanks in part to the It’s Not OK campaign, but sexual abuse remained a “no-go zone”.
The as yet un-named group grew out of MP Kelvin Davis’ Massive hikoi against sexual violence earlier this year. Some group members are also considering protesting at Auckland’s Boobs on Bikes parade organised by porn tycoon Steve Crow.
Mr Shaw said the group was concerned that normalising pornography, and its easy availability on the internet, could lead to sexual offences among youth and more behaviour like that of the infamous Roast Busters, who bragged online about their sexual exploits with underage girls.
He believed children were copying what they saw online and that watching hardcore pornography was warping the views of some youth as to what was acceptable behaviour.
The march will start at the Kaikohe RSA carpark at 10am on September 24. Anyone wanting to take part should be there at 9.45am.
A number of serious sex abuse cases have come to light in Northland the past year, including that of a 63-year-old Moerewa man who admitted nearly 80 violence and sex charges against women and children spanning four decades.
Northern Advocate Published 19 September 2015