Notes for Speakers

KEY MESSAGES OF THE WHITE RIBBON CAMPAIGN

Violence towards women is unacceptable

It is ok to ask for or offer help

  • No violence is tolerable. If you know someone who is being frightened or intimidated by the behaviour of someone else, it is not OK.
  • Violence isn’t just the physical, it’s also emotional or verbal behaviour used to control someone through fear. Things we say, or don’t say, contribute to the abuse.

Men must stand up and provide leadership

  • White Ribbon Day is the international day when people, particularly men, wear a White Ribbon to show they won’t tolerate, condone or remain silent about violence towards women.
  • It originated as a men’s movement in Canada and is now part of the United Nations annual calendar (International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women).  The Families Commission took a leadership role in New Zealand in 2006.

Men are part of the solution

  • Whether you are a husband, father, brother, uncle or granddad – we all have women in our lives that we love, and wouldn’t want to see subjected to violence. We all want our children to grow up in a happy, healthy environment and to go on to have happy, healthy relationships.
  • The campaign aims to change men’s attitudes and behaviours predominately through men talking to men, in ways that men understand. Men are role models for our children. We need to nurture a culture that encourages respect and rejects violence.
  • Like our White Ribbon Ambassador Ruben Wiki, we can play sports with controlled aggression, ride bikes and engage in physical activities, but we must not bring violence into our homes.
  • By simply wearing a White Ribbon, you can make it clear to other men that you do not tolerate violence against women.
  • You can also make sure your home, your business or your sports club is a safe environment where abusive behaviour is not tolerated.
  • The White Ribbon Campaign encourages men to talk openly about domestic violence, to break the silence around the subject. We encourage men to challenge comments, statements and actions that are abusive, and support those who wish to change their abusive behaviour.

Ambassadors

  • Ruben Wiki was the first White Ribbon Ambassador.
  • There are now some 20 Ambassadors including the Prime Minister.
  •  White Ribbon Ambassadors are chosen for:
      • their support for the principles of the campaign.
      • their willingness to challenge the behaviour of abusive men.
      • their willingness to encourage others to do the same.
      • their commitment to conveying the messages of the White Ribbon Campaign to other men within their community.

Statistics in New Zealand:

  • In New Zealand most violence towards women takes place in the home.
  •  In violence between couples, it is men’s violence that is most likely to cause serious physical or psychological harm.
  • An average of 14 women a year are killed by their partners or ex-partners.
  • There are over 3500 convictions recorded against men each year for assaults on women.
  • One in three women will experience partner violence at some point in their lives.

The Families Commission and White Ribbon Committee work with multiple agencies and NGOs to coordinate the national campaign. The White Ribbon campaign complements but is separate to the family violence It’s not OK campaign.

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