Marama Davidson says speaking out about suffering sexual abuse as a child is allowing other victims 'to not feel alone'

Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson says she has already received messages that her speaking out about the sexual abuse she suffered as a child is helping other victims of such abuse.

Ms Davidson spoke in a media interview yesterday about being sexually abused as a girl of eight or nine by an older male distant relative, who had been staying with her family for some time.

She later told 1 NEWS the abuse was "over a period of maybe months to a year or two". 

"I felt silenced and frozen and ashamed and really embarrassed, and have carried that right through my whole entire adult life," she said.

"And it's only now that I'm able to talk about it. But I know for a fact that there are many thousands more people who have felt silenced, who haven't been able to talk about it or have felt very alone."

Ms Davidson said she spoke up "because it's the silence that allows sexual abuse to continue to keep happening, and because it is the hardest thing to talk about.

"And I'm hoping - and have already seen the messages - that my speaking out is allowing people to not feel alone, and is a reminder to people to not blame themselves."

Ms Davidson said the way to address sexual abuse is by making it safe for people to be able to talk about it.

Our children need to grow up learning about consent and learning about the right to say when something is not welcome - Marama Davidson, Green Party co-leader

"Already the messages that I've been receiving from people have been a sense of relief and hope from people who they themselves haven't quite found their voice to talk about it yet. And so I know that that's a positive outcome from being able to share my story."

Ms Davidson also told 1 NEWS New Zealand must try to have a zero tolerance of any form of abuse in the home, and children need to be encouraged to talk to adults and family members when something feels uncomfortable and wrong.

"As a little girl, one of the things I realise now is I didn't understand what was happening to me. I didn't even know the word to call it. I just felt really horrible feelings of shame and awkwardness. And I just wanted to freeze. And I wanted to pretend that I was asleep when sexual abuse was being done to me.

"And I just think that our children need to grow up learning about consent, and learning about the right to say when something is not welcome. And I think as a society we need to do some thinking there," she said.

Ms Davidson has also appealed to adults and family members to look out for behaviour changes in children.

She said unless a young, innocent, vulnerable child comes to you and says they're being sexually abused it's almost impossible to pick up on it.  

"And so we've got to try and create safer spaces, ensure children feel in control of their bodies and know when something is feeling unsafe and what to do about  that."

If you need support, call: 0800 842 846 or visit the Victim Support website for organisations that can help. 

Are You OK - 0800 456 450  family violence helpline

Shine -  0508 744 633 confidential domestic abuse helpline

Women's Refuge Crisisline - 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE) (for women living with violence, or in fear, in their relationship or family)

Shakti Crisis Line - 0800 742 584 (for migrant or refugee women living with family violence

Rape Crisis - 0800 883 300 (for support after rape or sexual assault)

Original story: Speaking Secrets: Marama Davidson's painful memory of sexual abuse

The Green Party co-leader says she has already received messages that her speaking out is allowing abused people to not feel alone. Source: 1 NEWS


The Hastings' Four Square that sold four winning first division Lotto tickets

Hastings was the lucky home to four winning first division Lotto tickets last night.

Flaxmere's Scott Drive Four Square was the winning shop and TVNZ1's Seven Sharp meet with the owner.

"We have five first division winners in Flaxmere, and we have got four of them," owner Becky Gee said.

"Usually one shop gets one but one shop got four, unbelievable."

Last night there were 40 first division winners, who each get $25,000.

Ms Gee says she doesn’t know who the winners were yet, but says hopefully she’ll find out soon.

"Hopefully it’ll go to people who need it, to pay a lot of bills."

Lotto confirmed that one person purchased four of the winning tickets, which means they take home $100,000.

It turns out Scott Drive Four Square is where to buy a winning ticket. Source: Seven Sharp


Watch: Three re-entry options for Pike River Mine explained in 3D graphic

Mining experts are gathered in Greymouth to look at the risks involved in the three re-entry options for the Pike River Mine, and 1 NEWS has explained the options using a 3D graphic.

The bodies of 29 men remain in the West Coast mine following an explosion on November 19  2010. Re-entry would allow experts to search for the bodies and gather evidence about the disaster.

The project is so unique the army have been called on to help with planning. Source: 1 NEWS

The graphic shows the lie of the land above the mine and two distinct areas of the mine underground.

The mine drift, or access tunnel, starts from the entrance to the mine and runs 2.29 kilometres to what's known as the workings.

The workings are where the coal was being extracted and were the last locations of the 29 miners. The workings area contains a network of more than four kilometres of tunnels.

The first re-entry option is going in through the current entrance as it is now, with no secondary exit.

The second is the same but with a large bore hole made to provide a means of escape.

The other option is to create a new two-metre by two-metre tunnel about 200 metres long from up on a hill, to connect with another area for ventilation and a second exit.

Safety is the biggest priority and the findings will be reviewed over the next month.

After an explosion at the West Coast mine on 19 November 2010, the bodies of 29 men remain in the mine. Source: 1 NEWS


Taranaki man denies killing Waitara teenager in crash

A Taranaki man charged with dangerous driving causing death following an accident that killed a Waitara teenager last month has denied the offence.

The 37-year-old appeared in the New Plymouth District Court today where he also pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of cannabis, possession of utensils to consume methamphetamine, speeding and refusing to give a blood sample.

On 28 August, Olivia Renee Keightley-Trigg, 18, died after the man allegedly crashed into her on State Highway 3 between New Plymouth and Waitara.

The court heard that at about 6am the defendant was travelling towards New Plymouth when he crossed double yellow lines while overtaking another vehicle and drove into the path of Ms Keightley-Trigg.

Keightley-Trigg is one of 12 people to have been killed on the stretch of SH3 in the last 10 years.

The defendant was granted interim name suppression until 26 September, pending an appeal being filed over its potential lifting.

Defence counsel Paul Keegan argued that publication of the defendant's name could prejudice his right to a fair trial.

But Crown prosecutor Detective Sergeant Dave MacKenzie disagreed, telling the court that the defendant's right to a fair trial could be protected via other means.

Judge Garry Barkle said he was inclined to lift the name suppression in the interests of open justice but noted Mr Keegan had signalled his intention to appeal any such decision.

Judge Barkle therefore extended interim name suppression until 4pm on 26 September, pending an appeal.

The defendant, who has elected trial by jury, was remanded in custody to reappear on 22 November for a case review.

Olivia Renee Keightley-Trigg.
Olivia Renee Keightley-Trigg. Source: NZ Police

Christchurch Hospital sees seven people suffering severe affects of synthetic cannabis in 24 hours

Seven people have been treated in the last 24 hours at Christchurch Hospital's Emergency Department who're thought be be severely affected by synthetic cannabis.

In a statement the hospital says the emergency department has seen a number of people suffering from "probable severe synthetic cannabis toxicity, with seven people treated in the past 24 hours and three needing admission to the Intensive Care Unit".

Paul Gee, Emergency Medicine Specialist, Canterbury DHB says there has been a noticeable increase in patient attendances at the Emergency Department for side effects of synthetic cannabis use. 

He says some have minor adverse effects but others are more serious. Last month a man suffered a cardiac arrest after using synthetic cannabis but was successfully resuscitated.

Toxicology analysis has identified the substance taken by the patients as either AMB-FUBINACA or AB-FUBINACA.

AMB-FUBINACA has been linked to numerous deaths in the North Island during the past year.

"There are dangerous synthetic drugs available and taking them could seriously harm or kill you," Dr Gee said.

Drug and addiction help can be accessed at Tuhauora, Christchurch’s Central Coordination Service or call the Alcohol and Drug Helpline 0800 787 797.

They're calling for the drug to be classified as Class A – the most harmful and dangerous.
Source: 1 NEWS