1 Jan 2022

Dr Ang Jury - preventing harm

From The Weekend , 9:50 am on 1 January 2022

After 20-odd years helping victims of family and sexual violence, Dr Ang Jury has become an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit.

Seeing some positive change and also how much is needed is what has kept Jury in the field, she tells Anna Thomas.

Dr Ang Jury CEO of Women's Refuge

Dr Ang Jury Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Twenty years ago, Jury was starting out as a social worker when she first volunteered at a women's refuge.

Since that time. the way victims of domestic violence are treated in New Zealand has changed enormously, she says, but a lot more still needs to happen.

She's hopeful about Te Aorerekura - the government's new strategy against family and sexual violence.

"In 2022, I'd like to see some really good sound progress towards implementing that strategy - some real solid underpinnings to the work that needs to happen."

Another source of hope is the number of women successfully turning their lives around.

"For every horrible set of statistics we see, there are a whole lot of women out there that are living safe, healthy, happy lives now that weren't before. We don't tend to talk about those women because they're just out there getting on with it."

Jury wants people in dire situations to know that change is possible and support is available.

"The things in their minds and things in their personal circumstances that feel almost insoluble… are not. With the right support, those things can all be unpacked and lives put back together again. Once the decision is made, things seem to fall back into place. Sometimes it takes a while but things generally come right."

New Zealanders affected by domestic violence share powerful stories in the RNZ video series Breaking Silence.