Ex-All Black Carl Hayman’s domestic violence punishment questioned

Ex-All Black Carl Hayman’s domestic violence punishment questioned

A leading family violence educator is concerned ex-All Black Carl Hayman has gone relatively unpunished.

Hayman, 39, was this week was given a four-month suspended prison sentence for domestic violence in France.

It was reported Hayman faced several counts of violence against his wife between 2016 and 2018, including “a powerful slap” necessitating three days off work. Hayman was also charged with psychological damage, nuisance calls and insults.

Associate Professor Janet Fanslow from the University of Auckland said it’s particularly concerning when high-profile people wind up getting off with limited punishment.

One of the issues we often face with when we’re discussing family violence is really about how to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions and so, particularly in high-profile cases when people get a sentence but don’t have to serve it,” Fanslow said.

“You think, well where is the accountability, where is the responsibility for the things that they’ve done?

“If you have someone who has been hit to the extent that they have to take the next three days off of work, that suggests that it’s a pretty serious level of violence, and you certainly know that the impacts of psychological violence are also extremely traumatising for people.”

Hayman said his behaviour was inexcusable and that he had a problem with alcohol at the end of his rugby career.

“While it’s great that he’s taken some responsibility for his alcoholism and made steps to change that, the next step is to actually bring that same level of response to the violence and say ‘how do I change it, how do I think about different ways of doing this?’ said Fanslow, who is a co-director of the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse.

“There are supports available for men who use violence, so really it’s about how he taps into some of those re-education programmes, learning about new ways of doing things. Because while he’s split up from this partner, there’s a high likelihood he’s going to be re-partnered in the future and we don’t want it happening to anybody else.”

Fanslow said she hoped Hayman would be able to use a ‘role model’ status as a 45-test All Black for better in the future.

“Clearly he’s aware of that role – as reported, if he’s been out raising money for charity, he’s aware of some of the influences and reach that he can have and so if he actually wants to extend that then he can do that by becoming a role model for non-violence and healthy relationships and taking responsibility for himself and his own actions.

Fanslow expressed concern about how family violence cases involving high-profile sportspeople are reported.

“The reports of his pretty stellar sporting achievements – it’s kinda like, well, I don’t want to discount his accomplishments but it is about what do we value more – being a good human being or do we value the sporting achievements?”

Both Hayman and his ex-wife were approached by Stuff for comment.