Media Release 21 July 2023
Auckland CBD shooter’s history of domestic violence major red flag says Women’s Refuge
In the aftermath of the tragedy that occurred in Auckland yesterday, it has come to light that Matu Tangi Matu Reid has a history of domestic violence and was serving home detention for family violence charges at the time of the shooting.
Most shooters have histories of violence against women says Women’s Refuge Chief Executive Dr Ang Jury ONZM and this should be considered a major red flag.
“There’s a lot of denial that the shooter’s motivation was political or ideological. But we know that he had a history of family violence, which is characterised by a perpetrator (usually a man) feeling entitled to abuse, control, and subordinate others (usually women).”
“That kind of misogynistic belief structure typically plays out mostly in private, but the misogynistic violence perpetrated in private is a common precursor to such vengeance-fuelled public violence, too.”
Dr Natalie Thorburn, Principal Policy Advisor, Women’s Refuge goes on to say:
“Misogyny is the most common political or ideological commonality amongst mass shooting perpetrators – and in nearly 70% of mass shootings, there’s a documented history of the perpetrator’s violence against his female partner.
“Knowing his family violence history does not necessarily mean this event was anticipable. Assessing which perpetrators of family violence might turn into perpetrators of public violence is like a large-scale Russian Roulette – there’s no way to definitively tell in advance who will be a risk to the public as well as a risk to his partner in private. At the same time, given the strength of the association is between family violence and public mass shootings, attempts to ‘find the answers’ should start there – and so should prevention initiatives.
“Instead of saying he had no ideological red flags, we should be naming his conduct towards women as a red flag – because it is. Instead of saying there is no evidence of ‘lethal risk’ we should be naming his history of family violence and the fact that he was released on home detention as evidence of risk – because it is”, says Dr Thorburn
Dr Jurys says that given his prior abuse particularly strangulation things could have been much different if he was given prison time.
“If he were in prison for his attempts to kill or imped someone’s breathing yesterday may not have occured. If the justice system considered violence perpetrated ‘in private’ as equally important to the violence perpetrated in public, it would have been prevented.”
“The bottom line is we need to start treating violence against women as a serious crime, and in doing so other serious crimes can be prevented”.
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