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White Ribbon Day, 25 November, is the international day when people wear a white ribbon to show that they do not condone violence towards women.

It was started by a men’s movement in Canada in 1991 and has been officially adopted by the United Nations as its International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The campaign was introduced to New Zealand by UNIFEM (the United Nations Development Fund for Women).

In this country most violence by men against women takes place in the home – with an average of 14 women a year killed by their partners or ex-partners. Each year there are over 3,500 convictions recorded against men for assaults on women and one in five women will experience sexual assault or sexual interference at some point in their lives.

White Ribbon Day celebrates the many men willing to show leadership and commitment to promoting safe, healthy relationships within families and encourages men to challenge each other on attitudes and behaviour that are abusive.

White Ribbon came to New Zealand in 2004 and the Families Commission became the lead agency in 2006. The White Ribbon Committee provided the advice on which the campaign acted. In 2014 the White Ribbon Trust took over the responsibility for the campaign.

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