© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2022

A walk for help

Sam Weir
Male victims of family violence can be overlooked.  Pexels

Family violence campaigner walks for 24 hours to highlight the issue of abuse toward men.

Family violence is at epidemic levels in New Zealand and statistics show it is on the rise.

Findings from the It’s Not Ok campaign suggests 76 percent of family violence is not reported to the police. Despite this, in 2016, there was about one police investigation related to family violence every five minutes.

The focus tends to be on the women and children who fall victim to emotional, physical, sexual and economic abuse in their homes. However, men suffer from family violence, which is often overlooked.

Family Clearinghouse data shows that in during 2016, men accounted for 10 percent of protection order applications made to police.

This is why Stephen McPaike started A Walk for Help. The campaign logo is a purple stick figure "walking away from a bad relationship and into a new life".

McPaike will be walking around South Hagley Park tomorrow to raise awareness for male victims of abuse and raise funds for Canterbury Men's Centre to provide free counselling for male survivors of abuse.

McPaike said he had a man approach him during the Covid-19 lockdown and witnessed over videocall the violence taking place. The man was hospitalised for his injuries.

After helping the man out of the violent relationship, McPaike noticed that even though family violence organisations will help any and every victim, they are predominantly focused on women and children. Nothing is designed specifically for male survivors.

McPaike wanted to make it clear that he was not trying to diminish the impact of family violence on women and children. He felt for all victims of abuse.

His walk starts at the Hagley Park netball courts at 7am on Wednesday. He will walk around the park in an anti-clockwise direction for 24 hours. He will take five-minute breaks between each lap. Mitre 10 Ferrymead is supporting McPaike and will be hosting a BBQ at the netball courts.

McPaike said if he could save just one person with A Walk for Help, it would have paid off. It didn't matter to him if that person was a man, woman or child. He invited anyone to join him.

Donate to A Walk for Help.