The Government has signalled that the “It’s Not Okay” campaign against domestic violence may be cut to free up funding for Whanau Ora.
Campaign organisers are already anticipating that funding will be slashed and are in the process of preparing a relaunch of the campaign, but with a different slogan.
Labelled “It’s Often Okay”, the campaign will make it clear that, while most right-minded people think that domestic violence is abhorrent and a blight on our society, there are alternative viewpoints on the subject.
“There are plenty of people in Wellington who think this programme isn’t important enough to warrant funding,” said new campaign co-ordinator, Cilla Nebelwerfer,
“The relaunched campaign will be about sending that message.
“We all know that domestic violence costs the taxpayer millions of dollars. If you look at the cost to the police and justice system alone in dealing with domestic violence matters, it’s just a huge drain on resources.
“The Government has finally recognised that we need to think differently about domestic violence issues. If we continue to send the message that it’s not okay, women will continue to clog police resources, and offenders will continue to be hauled through the courts.
“We want the police to be freed up to deal with more important matters, such as looking after visiting celebrities and tackling the scourge of jaywalking.”
Ms Nebelwerfer said the campaign would be relaunched in May, and that filming of television and radio advertisements was already underway.
“We’ve engaged a number of prominent New Zealanders to help spread the message,” said Ms Nebelwerfer.
“What we’re really trying to say to people is this: if you know someone who’s the victim of domestic violence, you need to intervene. They’re probably feeling vulnerable and desperate. You need to get in there and tell them to just harden up and don’t be such a crybaby.”
Campaign organisers would not name any of the celebrities due to appear in the campaign, but radio host Tony Veitch confirmed he had been approached.
“This is an issue very dear to my heart,” said Mr Veitch. “I’m delighted to be able to contribute.”
A number of prominent sportsmen have also been linked to the campaign. It is understood that the men, who all have name suppression, will appear in campaign television commercials with their faces blurred and their voices altered.
“This is about the men too,” said Ms Nebelwerfer. “It’s all too easy to judge a guy, just because he’s smashed his girlfriend’s teeth in and put her in hospital. We want them to know that help is available. Legal help and PR help. Being a callous brute doesn’t have to destroy your life, or even cause you anything other than mild career inconvenience.”
Ms Nebelwerfer acknowledged that a number of domestic violence support groups were outraged at the plan, but defended the proposed campaign.
“I personally found the ‘It’s Not Okay’ campaign to be too preachy and judgmental. This is public money we’re using, and a surprising number of people in this society are violent sociopaths. Their viewpoint deserves to be recognised too.”