Posts Tagged students against violence

Student compares violence to ripples on a lake

July 23, 2009

Students Against Violence Everywhere spokesperson, Johnny O’Donnell reported recently a conversation he had with a fellow student which produced a thoughtful and apposite  quote:

“I asked the boy, 15 and Maori, to come up with a quote for the Yes Vote campaign and later that day he said:

“Violence is a ripple effect. It starts off as a drop in the water but soon creates a ripple effect which disturbs all the waters. This is no different than smacking a child. It may start as a smack but can trigger other violent behaviours from both the parent and the child. We need to keep our waters calm and let children have peace in their own homes”.

He later emailed me with this addition:

“The ripple also does not just affect the child, it ripples in its destructive path to affect the whanau and friends of that child.”

Young people urged to vote online on Referendum 09

July 18, 2009

Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) are holding an online referendum of their own and are encouraging young people to log on and vote.

SAVE chair, Johny O’Donnell says: “The time has come for youth to stand up and make their opinions heard on Referendum 09 and SAVE is proud to provide that opportunity.”

If you are under 25 – or know someone who is – please take this referendum survey at:

“Spread this message, post up on Facebook, Bebo, MySpace and Twitter,” he says. “Let’s get the message out there that young people deserve a say!”

Results will be posted on the SAVE website, sent to the media and to Yes and No vote websites and well as all 121 MPs.

Nelson teens urge vote for right not to be hit

July 9, 2009

A group of students campaigning against violence are asking adults to “speak for them” by voting “yes” in August’s smacking referendum according to a story in the Nelson Mail.

Students Against Violence (Save) founding member Johny O’Donnell, 15, said the smacking debate was focusing on the rights of parents to hit their children, and overlooked the rights of children not to be hit.

A student at Nelson College, he told the Mail he was one of five people who turned up to hear long-time child advocate Beth Wood speak on the referendum at the Victory Community Centre.

He said Save intended to have a stand at the Saturday market on the issue. It wanted to do more but was constrained by a lack of funds.

He helped set up Save in Nelson in March as he believed many young people were affected by violence

Johny O’Donnell: Listen to what youth are saying

June 1, 2009

I was recently told by a parent “you wouldn’t understand you’re not a parent and you’ve got no idea what it’s like”. This comment is something I typically hear as a young advocate for anti-violence and a strong supporter of the 2007 Child Discipline Law.

Luckily I have made my mind up and I won’t stop campaigning and making my voice heard in the community. For other youth they’re not so confident, when it’s an issue as crucial as Section 59 they hold back and tend to not speak their voices to others. I think this is a real shame because as young people we have a very good idea of what we want, I have spoken to many youth about this issue and they too believe that children need to be protected.

I have a vision that the Section 59 referendum will bring together youth who want to make a difference. I am the co-founder of a group called Students Against Violence and the general feeling amongst our group is disgust, disgust that over 300,000 people could sign a petition that really justifies hitting a child.

We want to raise youth voices on this issue and ultimately make sure children are protected by the law. In an issue about children that will directly affect children it is a shame we have no democratic say in the issue.

Another issue that we are having as youth campaign for the Child Discipline Law is the negativity we receive from the public. The feeling we get is that people can’t handle youth having their say and that people have a belief that we aren’t justified to speak our voices on an issue that directly affects us.

Our message to New Zealand is that as youth we need a say on this issue and it is clear there is strong opposition to us speaking out. We do not understand why people want to justify hitting a child and why people want to have a law that says its okay to do so.

Plunket Barnardos Save the Children Unicef Jigsaw Ririki Parents CentrePaediatric Society Womens Refuge Epoch

Popular Subjects on this site

Legal compliance

If you are going to use or distribute material from our campaign in any way, eg remixed or mashed up, please ensure that your actions are compliant with the relevant legislation, as the Yes Vote Coalition cannot take responsibility for actions beyond our control or knowledge.

The bottom line is that we want to play by the rules. We appreciate your support, but please act ethically, thoughtfully, and within the law.

Please see our Legal Disclaimer for more information.