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Keeping the Community Safe

A day at the courts, not your typical destination, but a day well spent. While most law abiding, citizens will never see the inside of the court. We got the privilege to visit the courts and see Magistrate Holzer’s court in session. This provided an insight into how the criminal justice system works. Magistrate Holzer also presented to our group and his knowledge and wisdom around the key areas affecting the court system was undeniable. We walked away more informed and knowledgeable about the challenges magistrates face.

A key theme touched on by all the presenters was the challenge of domestic violence against women and children. Gender inequality and/ or rigid gender norms perpetuate domestic violence through the mistreatment of women. The responsibility of preventing and/or stopping domestic violence is for everyone in the community. We were challenged to think of how we are raising our children and whether we are doing enough to encourage them to respect women and to treat women as equals. We were encouraged to be active bystanders who ask the people around us whether they are ok. On avearage it takes over 13 attempts before a woman leaves a violent relationship and you never know whether your concern/support might be the catalyst that saves a life

A widely known fact is the impact of drugs and alcohol abuse in our society. You only need to turn on the news to hear of another report of a death and/or crime spree committed by a drug abuser. Jodie encouraged us to move away from the bias we have against drug users as drug and alcohol addiction affects everyone. For alcohol addiction, the challenge is that it is widely available and socially acceptable hence it is almost impossible to attend any function without alcohol. This means that the harmful effects of alcohol consumption are generally ignored.

Finally, the role of keeping our community safe is everyone’s responsibility so we all need to step up and do our part.

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