Taking The Pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women means a better life for you and those close to you. Part two of The Pledge.

When you tolerate or accept violence to women, it sends the message to others that violence is okay. By acting as if violence is acceptable, you help violence to continue by creating an environment that supports violence. When children see adults fail to act, they can think violence to women is acceptable.

Condoning violence against women happens in many ways:

  • Making or laughing at sexist jokes
  • Not challenging violence against women so people assume its normal
  • Excusing or minimising violent behaviour
  • Sharing degrading messages, photos, videos or links on sites like Facebook and Twitter
  • Sending emails and text messages showing violence against women
  • Telling others to ‘harden up’ or ‘be a man’ when they challenge violence to women
  • Smiling, laughing or giving the thumbs up when men talk about being violent to women.

Violence against women is never okay, not condoning violence looks like:

  • Sharing messages and videos online that challenges violence to women
  • Speaking out against comments that put women down or treat them like property
  • Treating women with respect
  • Take action; make sure it is safe for you and others
  • Let your kids know violence against women is not okay

Not condoning violence to women can make a change for many. Wear a White Ribbon to show you support men’s action to end violence to women


Taking The Pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women means a better life for you and those close to you. Part three of The Pledge.

Remaining silent about violence against women is ignoring it and doing nothing to challenge it. This impacts on all women and contributes to a culture where people don’t feel able to speak up and violence to women continues.

There are many instances and situations where men may remain silent about violence against women. For example:

  • Knowing that violence is occurring and doing nothing
  • Not making a stand when violence is happening
  • Not challenging others when they make sexist jokes, comments or display sexist behaviour

When you challenge violence against women it is important to say what you don’t like, why, and what you think should happen. “Bro when you put down your partner she looks frightened, you need to stop or you will lose her”. When you challenge violence, it gives others permission to do the same.

There are a number of ways you can do this:

  • Take action when you see violence happening, make sure it’s safe, if you can, get others to help
  • Take part in collective action that prevents violence against women, such as taking The Pledge, wearing a White Ribbon and getting involved in community organisations and events
  • Encourage men who use violence to seek help to live violence-free lives
  • Challenge sexist jokes, comments or behaviours and let people know you think it’s not okay
  • One person speaking out can make a change for many. Wear a White Ribbon to show you support men’s action to end violence to women



Taking The Pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women means a better life for you and those close to you. Part one of The Pledge.

Men CAN stop violence towards women. The first thing men can do to stop violence is to understand what it is and the harmful impact it has.

Violence is any action that controls through fear. It can be physical or non-physical. It can happen in front of others, but is often hidden and occurs in private.

Physical violence is:

  • Pushing, hitting or punching
  • Kicking, biting, choking and strangling
  • Using weapons
  • Forcing someone to have sex or do sexual things when they don’t want to

Non-physical violence is:

  • Standing over her, yelling or screaming
  • Destroying things precious to her
  • Threatening to hurt her, or someone close to her
  • Constantly criticising and putting her down
  • Using fear or guilt to control her actions
  • Controlling and monitoring her money
  • Using the children against her

Violence has a huge impact. It can make women feel fearful, sad, isolated, lacking in confidence, angry and suicidal. In some cases, violence against women results in severe injury, or even death. The feelings that violence causes can last for a long time, and it is often not just the woman who feels this way. Violence affects everyone, especially children, whānau, friends and communities as a whole. Violence also affects those who use it, often making them feel sad, isolated, ashamed, and frightened of losing relationships.

There are things you can do so that you don’t use violence and act safely. You can:

  • Know what behaviours are abusive and controlling and what alternative behaviours are OK
  • Know your warning signs and triggers, get in control of yourself early
  • Stop, think, what impacts and costs your actions will have? Choose a time for both of you when you can talk calmly and openly about your feelings
  • Chill out, walk away from a potentially violent situation

Violence hurts everyone. A life lived in fear is not a life fulfilled. It is important that all men do whatever they can to ensure that women are safe. Here are some ideas:

  • Understand what violence is and what is not ok. Check out for more information.
  • Speak up and ask for help. Talk to others, you don’t need to do this on your own.
  • If someone is in danger, call the Police even if you are not sure
  • Don’t join in conversations that put women down, or share images that degrade women and treat them as just a body, not a person.
  • As a family, teach men and boys respect for women. Be proud that your family respects and protects!
  • Listen to women; learn from their experiences of abuse and violence. Understand the impact that violence has had on them and what you can do to make a difference.
  • Support women to be independent and live without fear. Be proud that this is what happens in your family.
  • When you make mistakes, face up, take responsibility and put things right.
  • Be proud, wear a White Ribbon to show you are part of a men’s movement to promote respect and end men’s violence to women

These are just a few of the many ways that men can ensure that they do not commit violence against women and prevent their families from committing it as well. By taking the Pledge, you have promised to never commit violence against women. These strategies will help you uphold this promise. You CAN stop violence against women.

Launch of the White Ribbon Campaign


The White Ribbon Ride launched on the Skytower, some 186 meters above the ground with three hand-chosen White Ribbon Ambassadors on Tuesday 18 November.

Broadcast on Seven Sharp, the launch featured Mark Longley, Steffan Browning MP and George Ngatai as they laced up their colourful footwear and held the first Walk A Mile in Her Shoes while battling the winds above the Auckland skyline, and most importantly, their own fear of heights.


Seven Sharp_Layer 1

Click here to watch the launch on Seven Sharp. Starts at 2mins 30 seconds

“We’re asking men to take action,” says White Ribbon Ambassador Mark Longley, “so it’s only right that we should undertake something that we’re uncomfortable with. I wanted to challenge myself to do something that I was scared to do.

For some people that might be skydiving or boxing, but I’ve done those things and loved them. Walking on metal grating and glass more than three Olympic swimming pools high – that’s never been on my bucket list, but I was persuaded to do it for White Ribbon.

“If I’m going to ask men to stop being silent, then I’ve got to be willing to do something that makes me uneasy. It’s as simple as that – leadership by example.

“As men we must never remain silent. My daughter Emily is no longer with us and I can honestly say that if Elliot Turner’s male friends had taken action, she would be alive today. If they had taken the White Ribbon Pledge ‘to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women’ they would have intervened. They would have told their ‘mate’ that his behaviour was not OK. They would have warned Emily and a tragedy would have been averted.”

On average fourteen women are killed every year and hundreds hospitalised. Police respond to a family violence incident every 5½ minutes and whether we want to admit it or not, men are by far and away responsible for the majority of the serious violence.

We must put a stop to this behaviour by demonstrating leadership.

As men we have the ability to influence our mates’ behaviour. It is something we can, and we must do. So please join with me by taking The Pledge. Let’s get off the side line, because it’s time we were in the game of preventing violence.

Mark Longley
White Ribbon Ambassador


Special thanks to the

Diary of a White Ribbon Rider (via an iphone) South Island White Ribbon Ride

Jackie Adams at Tekapo cropped

Jackie Adams – White Ribbon Ambassador and now diary writer


I missed the first half of the first day as I had to arrange the West Coast functions, so only joined the ride north of Greymouth.

Colin and Doug saying goodbye to their mum - Jean Agnew 96 years old at Whareama Rest Home Nelson

Colin and Doug saying goodbye to their mum – Jean Agnew 96 years old at Whareama Rest Home Nelson

We had the evening function at the Greymouth Baptist church were there was standing room only. We had members from cyf, te rito, dhb, women’s refuge,  home builders, the men’s group, west coast family

violence net work and the hub, John Sturgeon the former all black manager, the mayor of Greymouth Tony Kokshoorn and Maureen Pugh to name a few. Students from Greymouth High, Tai Potini and Lime Light Drama provided entertainment that was family violence orientated.

This was followed by a community meal where people got to speak with the riders one on one.


Day two started with breakfast prepared by the advance Mawhera Masonic Lodge and then a visit to John Paul High School and St Particks Primary School in Greymouth before attending Hokitika Primary School. The students from all three schools got very excited over the bikes and provided good warm west coast welcomes. The west coast lived up to its reputation with plenty of rain till we got into the pass and we went from rain to snow. It was a very wet and cold group of riders who made it through the pass and into sunshine on the Canterbury Plains.



To read the Nelson Mail article click here

To read about the launch click on the photo from the Nelson Mail.

Nelson MP Nick Smith likened raising awareness on family violence to changing attitudes about drink driving, which used to be accepted when he was a child, but through changing attitudes, was no longer.
“It’s about changing attitudes. We can pass all the laws we can, and have a cop on every corner street, but it’s about attitudinal changes.”
The White Ribbon Riders were championing societal changes, Smith said. Nelson had relatively low levels of crime overall, but the “domestic violence figures tell a sorry story of women and children living in fear”.
Nelson city councillor Matt Lawrey said the riders were role models in their communities.
“You are role models for other men, saying to them, especially young men, ‘it’s not OK. Violence is never acceptable and that men should do something about it, and men should stand up for something they believe in’,” Lawrey said.

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Day three was an early start with us leaving the Te Rehua marae at 06:30hrs to ride to Timaru. Nice and dry but still a chill in the air at that time of the morning.  We had a nice clear ride through Christchurch onto State Highway One and down to Timaru. We got a very warm welcome at the Mountainview High School and good show of support from the Timaru Police. Colin rode his Harley Soft-tail through the front doors of the school and into the assembly hall to rapturous applause from the students. Eru, Bess and Ian all spoke about the issues of family violence and bullying.  We then got invited outside to a display of two hundred chocolate muffins with White Ribbons iced on top. From Timaru we rode through to Fairlie then Tekapo for a chat with the locals before riding through to Mt Cook to visit the village school with some very excited children who loved the bikes. From there it was through to Twizel and onto Wanaka for the last stop of the night. Although nice and clear it was windy enough that a number of our white ribbon flags took a battering including mine. So day three was 500 kms of nice but cold riding.

The White Ribbon Ride is up early. Here the Riders are forming up to enter Wanaka on morning of day four of the South Island White Ribbon Ride

The White Ribbon Ride is up early. Here the Riders are forming up to enter Wanaka on morning of day four of the South Island White Ribbon Ride


Day four of the ride started with a nice lay in. I didn’t have to get up till half six, bliss. We rode into Wanaka with a

The kids from Terrace School in Alexandra with my bike. Last time I say how many can we fit on a Boulevard.

The kids from Terrace School in Alexandra with my bike. Last time I say how many can we fit on a Boulevard.

Police escort and have breakfast at Kai Whakapai with the Mayor of Wanaka and a number of White Ribbon supporters.

We then visited Wanaka primary where Eru and Tiki had the kids singing and dancing. They should have a tv show. From there we rode through to Clyde and another Police escort.  Unfortunately we are not able to visit every school but the local Police in Clyde and Alexandra arranged for us to ride past every school in the area so that all the children got to see the bikes. It was great to see their happy faces as they lined the street to see us.  Great support by the local police and I can’t praise them enough. Cheers guys.

We visited Terrace primary in Alexandra and got a fantastic welcome. This time the poor kids had to listen to me talk. From there we rode through to Arrowtown and then Queenstown. We had a great welcome from the children at Queenstown primary and Eru, Chuck and Blair spoke to the kids about bulling and cyber bullying as well as family violence. Tiki lightened the mode with a song which the kids loved. We then traveled through to Invercargill. Great weather today and only had rain from Arrowtown. We finished the day in Invercargill with a warm welcome to the Murihiku Marae. Another long day and another 400kms covered.

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Wet Morning

Up early Saturday Morning ready for the trip to Bluff. Bad weather will not stop the riders from delivering the message that violence towards women and children is not acceptable.

We started the morning in Invercargill at seven and lots of rain. As an Irishman living on the West Coast I am used to rain, but even I have to admit this rain was heavy!  We rode through to Bluff and had a community breakfast at the Light house. Great welcome with some great people. From Bluff we rode back through to Invercargill and attended an event at Southland Boys High school. We then traveled through to Gore and a great Southland welcome. The Police in Southland gave the same great support that we saw in Otago. Great effort guys its really appricated.

On leaving Gore we continued through the rain to Tapanui to attend the A&P show which caused a little excitement when five of us hit a slippery patch of road and started to fishtail. Thankfully none of us came off. We arrived safe and sound at the A&P show which was in full swing even with the weather. By this stage my wet weather gear had given up the ghost and run for the hills and all three layers of clothing felt like I had been for a swim.

We left Tapanui to travel through to Dunedin and about half way there when I had lost all feeling in my fingers and toes I had a thought. We must be nuts. As I thought about this I pictured my three daughters and how I didnt want them to be victims of violence. I also thought about the number of domestic incidents I had attended when I was a police officer and the number of homicides I had investigated when the partner was the offender. It was at that point I realised that I would be nuts not to be here spreading the word to stop this disease.

We arrived very wet and cold in Dunedin but still positive.  322kms today. We broke the 2000km mark for the ride all up. Looking forward to tomorrow and the events at the Octagon. Hope to see some of you there.

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Not to much riding today. Although after five days in the saddle my bottom had no complaints.  We arrived in Dunedin last night and got a nice long sleep, it was half seven before Colin kicked us out of bed. I could have kissed him as normally its a six o’clock wake up.

We rode down to the University to meet our Police escort.  Once formed up it was a short ride into the Octagon. What a great reception.  A bouncy castle.  Then things went down hill. I was too big to have a go! When I was a kid I was too small now, I am to big. Cant get a break.

We had the local Police cooking sausages and pickets and local community groups giving out muffins. Must be heaven. Getting free food and no rain. Eru spoke first and then called me up to speak, followed by Chuck.

We have all three Napier brother’s on the ride which is a great show of family support.  A great turn out by the locals and a great turn out by the NGOs . I have no idea how many photos I posed for today, but it felt like a being a movie star. Great work by the local Police which we have come to expect now in Otago. Thank you Dunedin for such a great welcome.

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The kids from Hamstead school in Ashburton.

The kids from Hamstead school in Ashburton.

Day seven started with us on the road for half seven. A second dry day with glorious sunshine. Everything was going great till we stopped to fill up and one rider put diesel in the bike rather than petrol. I wont say who but you know who you are!

After we had the tanked drained we met up with the Blueknights Police motorcycle club who joined us on our way to Timaru. Great sight with forty bikes riding together with dry roads and blue skies.

Local MP and Mayor speaking at Timaru.

Local MP and Mayor speaking at Timaru

We arrived at Timaru to a fantastic welcome by the local MP Jo Goodhew and the Mayor of Timaru Damon Odey along with members of local community groups.

I got called on by Chuck to talk again, and then we had some well needed juice to rehydrate.

We then traveled through to Ashburton and a visit to Hampstead school. All of the teachers got a trip on the back of the bikes much to the delight of the kids. Typical Irishman one day of sun and my face is burnt. We then traveled through to Christchurch for the big march tomorrow.




Forming up for the White Ribbon march.

Forming up for the White Ribbon March

On the road for seven to ride down to the Christchurch Women’s Hospital and had a great breakfast with the staff. Thank you guys for the hospitality.

We then hit the road to the Christchurch Police station for the White Ribbon March and what a turnout. We had members of the Army, Navy, Air-force, Police, Fire Brigade and Ambulance staff along with the guys from LSV, Stopping Violence Services and many other NGO’S as well as members of the public.

We rode at the back while everyone walked to the park. After the one minute silence the LSV guys did a great Haka ,then we went to the reception where we had a number of speakers. Some very strong and powerful messages put forward around the issues of family violence.

Dancing at Riccarton School

Dancing at Riccarton School

After that we went to Ricarton Primary to meet some very excited children who had loads of fun dancing with Tiki as he taught them his white ribbon ride song. I think if he recorded it he would have a hit on his hands.

Philipstown School

Philipstown School

We then went to Philipstown School by which time the rain was back on and we had gotten back into our standard dress of soaking wet clothing.  The rain did not dampen the spirits of the kids and we spoke with them about bulling and family violence.

Final dinner at Sequoia 88

Final dinner at Sequoia 88

Tomorrow is out last day on the ride and so we went out for dinner to share a few stories and consolidate the friendships that had formed from such a diverse group of people. Good food, good people and a good kaupapa.


My last day of the ride, I have run out of leave and have to get back to work.

I said my goodbyes to the riders who were leaving Christchurch to finish the ride in Blenheim and  I headed back to the West Coast.

Nine days in the saddle and just over 3000kms, my poor bike needs a good clean and I need a bath.

As I rode on my own over the pass I had plenty of time to think about the ride. To be honest it was one of the worst rides I have ever done due to the weather, but also by far the best ride due to the company of the other riders, the message we passed on, and the people we got to meet.

I will start saving now so that I can do this again next year and hope to get the message out to more people that in New Zealand we do have a Domestic violence problem.

I have seen more violence in people’s homes as a Police officer than I saw while serving with the Army in Bosnia.

If you have not taken the pledge yet please do it now and become part of the solution, rather than the problem.


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Check out this great Social Media Campaign in the lead up to the Christchurch March on White Ribbon Day.
It involves people taking selfie’s with the signs  #EndViolence4Canterbury, uploading them onto your Facebook and Twitter sites and putting the hashtag in the comments.

Show your support for ending violence in Canterbury.

Check out the Police Facebook page for some great photos and see where it all began.













And don’t forget to attend the march on Tuesday 25 November.

White Ribbon Community March   Tuesday 25/11/14  9:45am – 11:00am
Start at Christchurch Police Station, march past Christchurch Hospital for a minute silence, then to The Atrium, Christchurch Netball Centre for the ceremony and morning tea.
Partnered by Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand Police,
White Ribbon Riders, Canterbury Family Violence Collaborative and Christchurch City Council. Form more info

Community March Christchurch

Community March Christchurch

NZ Police Commissioner is appointed a White Ribbon Ambassador

Mike-BushNZ Police Commissioner Mike Bush is the latest in a number of high profile New Zealand men who have accepted the role of White Ribbon Ambassadors. He joins Prime Minister John Key, Maori Party Leader Te Ururoa Flavell and recently retired Deputy Mayor of Wellington, Ian McKinnon.

White Ribbon is a campaign to change attitudes and behaviours around men’s violence towards women and it is led by men, for men.

White Ribbon Chair Judge Peter Boshier says that the timing of the appointment is particularly important as the international White Ribbon Day is held each year on 25 November. “This is a time when we should all reflect on what needs to be done to reduce our appalling family violence statistics.”

“Commissioner Bush’s willingness to accept nomination sends a powerful message to other men and to all New Zealand leaders, that family violence is such an acute problem that leadership at the very top is appropriate,” says Judge Boshier.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said “I am honoured to take up this appointment as a White Ribbon Ambassador. I hope that together we can increase the number of whänau, men, women, iwi and communities who feel supported and encouraged to stand up and voice their intolerance of violence against women and children.”

“Family violence fundamentally affects our whole society. It is the responsibility of all New Zealanders to front up and take action against family violence and this is why I have chosen to add my voice.”

As Police Commissioner, Mr Bush said that he was determined to maintain a strong focus on reducing the harm and the number of victims that family violence incidents create.

“As a society, we have to move forward from being aware of the violence, to take more action. To hold people to account and provide the help that they need. Only then will we start to create a violence free future for nga whänau. This is what I hope together we can achieve” says Mr Bush.


  • There are now over 70 White Ribbon Ambassadors
  • They are men from all walks of life who are willing to lend their leadership to the White Ribbon cause.
  • All Ambassadors volunteer their time freely to the campaign to end men’s violence towards women.
  • This year the campaign is focusing on encouraging men to take The Pledge ‘never to commit condone or remain silent to violence against women’.
  • Ambassadors must commit to the kaupapa of the campaign and can include men who were formally violent, however they must acknowledge that past behaviour, and be living violence free lives.
  • The campaign launches on 18 November and is organised by the White Ribbon Trust with expert advice from the White Ribbon Committee chaired by Judge Boshier.

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