A Reflection on International Women’s Day

It’s timely to reflect on those women we know who are in Gloriavale and who are not able to have a voice. We think about those women who have not been able to truly and freely choose who they marry, what school their children attend, what job they do, and where they live.
Gloriavale hides behind Biblical submission, but what these women experience is subjugation. They are not permitted to speak or hold any opinion apart from the leaders.

Some of these beautiful women who have left considered themselves as “happy slaves” while in there, but on reflection realised they were part of a system that downgraded them to little more than a piece of property. They knew no better, having been born and raised in a closed-box system. Now they are able to honestly reflect on their experiences. Now they have a comparison.

I have full admiration for anyone who chooses to make the best of a bad situation, but is that the best New Zealand can do?

Virginia Courage left Gloriavale in 2019 and has found her voice. She wrote this poem when she was thinking about the terrible abuse inside Gloriavale, and the complete lack of care shown to victims: https://www.gloriavaleleavers.org.nz/portfolio/virginia-trapped-poem/