Monday, 1 Mar 2021

She Is Not Your Rehab: Young advocate Angelou Brown receives letter from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

Angelou Brown, the youngest domestic violence advocate in New Zealand, son of the founder of She Is Not Your Rehab, has received a touching letter from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, thanking him for his work in the fight against domestic violence.

The 5-year-old boy sent Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford T-shirts for Christmas, and the Prime Minister has now replied with a letter thanking him for the special package.

In the letter, which Angelou’s father Matt Brown posted on Instagram, Ardern thanks the boy for the T-shirts and proceeds to tell him how impressed she is with his work.

“I am so impressed by what you are doing, Angelou,” Ardern wrote.

“You are an amazing ambassador for the kaupapa of your whanau,” the Prime Minister added.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CLlMjRKsepY/

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“The messages which you and your dad are spreading are such important ones. Your nana certainly won’t be forgotten and I’m sure she would be very proud of what you are doing to help families everywhere be violence free.”

According to his dad, the young ambassador was excited to receive the letter from the Prime Minister.

“As the youngest domestic violence advocate in Aotearoa, he takes his role as an ambassador for our whānau kaupapa very seriously,” his dad wrote on Instagram.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CKunpsQp0mD/

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Angelou is no stranger to receiving letters from important people.

Last year, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson wrote him an open letter on Instagram, praising him for his work against domestic violence.

The boy sent The Rock a “She Is Not Your Rehab” T-shirt last year as well as a video talking about the She Is Not Your Rehab kaupapa.

In the video, the 5-year-old boy asked the “strongest man on the planet” to help spread awareness of how domestic violence is harming our women, families and communities.

“Dear Mr Rock, my name is Angelou Brown and I am 5 years old. I live in Christchurch, New Zealand,” the 5-year-old started off.

“My dad is Samoan so I’m pretty sure you’re his cousin. And since you’re part of the aiga (family), I thought I’d send you a gift. It’s a T-shirt.

“Not just any T-shirt. This T-shirt my dad and my uncles wear to encourage other men to treat girls well.”

“Men all around New Zealand, the Pacific, and even the whole wide world because his mum, my nana, had a sad life when they were growing up with lots of fights at home.

“It was sad for my dad to watch her get hurt a lot. And she had to go away lots to many refuges.

“My dad says it’s his mission to help other men to heal so their wives don’t have sad lives like Nana did.”

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The video went viral and “Uncle Rock” eventually responded, impressed by the boy’s mission.

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The She Is Not Your Rehab group is a movement that empowers men to address their domestic violence issues and encourages family and communities to treat our women better.

Matt Brown, Angelou’s father, founded the group after his mother was a victim of severe domestic violence, trauma she and her children have carried since.

“Witnessing her subjected to abuse that I thought would kill her. Watching her be a rehab for a man – my father who never did any work to heal himself,” he has said in a previous interview.

“Her eyes were always so sad. That will always stay with me. That’s my motivation and why I do this work and hold space for men to heal. Because I wished someone had done that for my dad.”

The group hosts monthly counselling sessions to empower men to help themselves heal from past traumas.

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