Domestic abuse “is not a gender thing” in New Zealand, according to All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, who defended the selection of Crusaders winger Sevu Reece.
Reece was guilty to one count of a male assaulting a female after hurting his partner while intoxicated on Hamilton street last year, but Judge Denise Clark found mitigating reasons and dismissed him without conviction.
Sevu Reece Domestic Abuse, Assault, Girlfriend, Wife Allegation
Reece was called up to the All Blacks after a great season for the Crusaders, and Hansen felt he was deserving of the black shirt. “Unfortunately, it’s a huge part of our culture,” Hansen told Radio Sport on Saturday. “As a result, rugby will have individuals active in this inside its community.” And as a police officer, I’ve seen a lot of it.
And I’m aware that it’s not only men who abuse women; women also assault men. “It’s not a gender issue; it’s a New Zealand problem,” says the author.
Hansen said that New Zealand Rugby was against domestic abuse and that the Crusaders had aided him in his recovery. Instead, he blamed bad parenting for the fact that it was a societal problem in New Zealand.
“Unfortunately, in certain situations, the children in the household adopt the same techniques as the individuals with whom they live,” Hansen added.
“And if they don’t get the correct support and help, they’ll end up going down a route that we don’t want them to go down. And we can’t deny that it’s occurring in our country because it’s all around us.
“I used to see that all the time when I was a cop.”
According to Hansen, there are two categories of domestic abusers, and Reece might not have been rehabilitated if he hadn’t been a professional rugby player.
“To simplify things a little bit,” Hansen added, “there are typically two sorts of domestic violence.”
“One in which a control freak, male or female, is present, or two in which a frustrated male or female is there, and they both lash out. And there are two distinct sorts of humans.
“So, rather than asking “why has rugby took Sev in and looked after him?” in this circumstance, I’d ask “what would happen if we didn’t?”
“He’s come into an atmosphere with the Crusaders where a lot of things have been placed around him to help educate him, to help him realize that in order to be a decent person, you must do certain things, and by doing so, he’s showed a lot of sorrow for what he’s done.
“He’s been actively trying to better himself, and when he comes into our atmosphere, we already have a policy that better individuals create better All Blacks, so we’re going to keep doing that with each and every individual we have.”
Reece has 16 tries this season for the Crusaders and is a strong contender for a spot in the All Blacks’ Rugby World Cup roster.
He was one of just three specialist wings selected in the inaugural All Blacks squad of the year, with Rieko Ioane and George Bridge.