New home for White Ribbon

Ric Odom

White Ribbon Campaign Trust Chair – Ric Odom

From today (07/05/14) the Families Commission is transferring responsibility for the delivery and management of the annual White Ribbon Campaign to the White Ribbon Campaign Trust Board.

Families Commissioner Belinda Milnes says the Commission is delighted that the Trust is taking the campaign on its next steps. She says, “The White Ribbon Campaign Trust Board is a community based organisation with the skills, experience and commitment to ensure the continued success and growth of this important campaign to reduce violence against women.

“Family violence is a complex issue and it needs government along with communities, workplaces, and families working together to make a real difference.”

The transfer is being made through a conditional grant for a two-year period.

“We are very grateful for the support of the Families Commission,” says White Ribbon Trust Chair Ric Odom. ‘Their good management has helped the campaign to work effectively with communities right throughout New Zealand helping us to raise awareness and get men to take action.

“Last year’s campaign was the largest yet with significant community involvement, so the time is now right for the campaign to take charge of its own destiny,” says Mr Odom.

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Emily Longley

Today is also the anniversary of the death of Emily Longley, who was murdered by her boyfriend three years ago.

Mark Longley, White Ribbon trustee and father of Emily explains, “As a parent that has lost a child, you are always trying to make sense of the tragedy. I donate my time to White Ribbon in the hope that no other family ever has to go through what we have endured.

“White Ribbon is about men taking responsibility. As men, we can change the behaviour of our mates. If just one of her boyfriend’s mates had not remained silent, my daughter Emily could be alive today.

“I want White Ribbon to lead a change in our culture. A change where events such as the Roast Busters Scandal could not take place and where 14 women are not killed each year,” says Mr Longley.

A White Ribbon Advisory Committee, currently chaired by Judge Peter Boshier will continue in its role, which includes appointment of White Ribbon Ambassadors and the organisation of activities. Judge Boshier will continue to lead this Committee.

The Trust has been formed from experts and advocates within the family violence sector.

  • Chair: Ric Odom (WR Ambassador) CEO of the RNZSPCA
  • Deputy Chair: Takurua Tawera (WR Ambassador) chair of NNSVS
  • Heather Henare CE Women’s Refuge
  • Mark Longley (WR Ambassador)
  • David White (WR Ambassador)
  • Alana Bowman (WR Committee Member)
  • Aaron Morrison (WR Rider)
  • Patron: Judge Boshier (WR Ambassador and WR Committee Chair)

White Ribbon: Rob McCann, White Ribbon Campaign Manager, 029 917 7045, contact@whiteribbon.org.nz

One News Mark Longley

click to watch Trust Launch on TVNZ

stuff trust launch

click to read coverage in Stuff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emily's legacy Saving others

click to read about Emily’s legacy and Trust launch

anti violence trust relaunched

Click for TV3 coverage

White Ribbon Campaign Volunteer and Intern Positions 2014

White Ribbon is opening our intake of Volunteers for the 2014 campaign. Volunteers work with the campaign team to deliver a  proactive response to family violence. We’re trying to change attitudes and behaviour, and we need your help to help deliver our annual campaign.

To apply for a position contact us and include your CV and a brief note about why you wish to volunteer. We know that volunteers often want to help with a worthy programme and eventually to gain paid employment in the workforce. But to land that paid position you need practical experience with good references. White Ribbon believes in up-skilling our volunteers and providing you with an enhanced knowledge of both event management and communications. If that sounds like you and you want to make a positive difference in our society, please consider volunteering.
Bernadette and Intern at Women's Refuge signs The Pledge cropped“An amazing experience” Bernadette (Volunteer 2012)
The Intern and Volunteer programme is a fantastic opportunity to get amongst a powerful and proactive social change campaign. From day one, you are a significant part of the Campaign team, helping to get the campaign off the ground and to reach the New Zealand public with a message of anti-violence.photo (6)

“I’ve found my time with the campaign to be fulfilling and challenging. I had the chance to work with a diverse range of people who are motivated to promote White Ribbon’s message; including community leaders, like Headmasters and White Ribbon Riders, and the talented Campaign Manager. The Campaign is a tight-knit, enthusiastic, and passionate team. I highly recommend this experience to anyone with a passion for social issues and making change in New Zealand.” Nelson Curry. (Volunteer 2011/2012)

“Working for the campaign gave me a tremendous amount of practical experience and it really was fun. Great team and found the campaign manager really helpful. He took the time to teach volunteers how to accomplish tasks and we all felt like we really were a part of the team. I’ve now landed a job, and there’s no doubt that working for White Ribbon and the reference I received made this possible. I’d recommend volunteering for White Ribbon to anyone who wants practical event and communication experience.” Chris Vermeulen (Volunteer 2013)

White Ribbon Campaign Volunteer and Intern Positions 2014

To apply for a position contact us or to download the position descriptions click here

Positions
· Ambassador Coordinator
· Community Press Release Coordinator
· Events and Volunteers Coordinator
· Finance, Fundraising and Database Coordinator
· Graphic Designer
· Proof Reader
· Resources and Merchandise Coordinator
· Ride Coordinator
· Social Media Officer
· Written Communications Officer

 

Position Descriptions

Ambassador Coordinator(s)

You will liaise with White Ribbon Ambassadors and New Zealand communities when Ambassadors are requested to speak at local events and find opportunities for Ambassadors.

Your central task is to support the campaign’s Ambassadors as they build support, visibility, and develop a shared understanding of the campaign within their communities. This is on-going but is a requirement during the November period to support projects such as the White Ribbon Ride.

For more information on White Ribbon Ambassadors, click here.

Knowledge and Experience

You will:

· be responsible, proactive, and professional in attitude;
· have strong relationship and organisational skills;
· have strong written and oral communication skills;
· display initiative; and
· be functional team players.
Experience in or aptitude for stakeholder management and/or communications is an advantage.

Community Press Release Co-ordinator(s)

Our Press Manager(s) will have responsibility for contacting local communities that are hosting White Ribbon events. The Manager(s) will coordinate event information to produce tailored media releases. This task is essential to create a seamless campaign experience for the New Zealand public, achieved by delivering the campaign’s message but with local features, spokespeople and Ambassadors.

Knowledge and Experience

The ability to multitask and plan will be a key asset in the Press Manager(s). Interpersonal written and verbal communication skills are also essential, particularly over email and the phone.

Events and Volunteers Coordinator(s)

This position requires an individual to liaise with community groups and volunteers around New Zealand. You will assist in coordinating White Ribbon events for Ambassadors and Riders, and work with the Community Press Release Manager and other colleagues to deliver a unified campaign experience. You will also be responsible for coordinating volunteers nationwide to participate in White Ribbon events.

Knowledge and Experience

You will have strong organisational skills and, ideally, experience in event management. Common sense and the ability to future-plan will aid you in this role, as will a sense of initiative. Some communications skills would be an advantage.

Database, Finance and Fundraising Co-ordinator

White Ribbon collects funds from a variety of sources for the White Ribbon Campaign Trust to run future White Ribbon Campaigns. These funds need to be recorded and deposited. The contributors need to be acknowledged so that they know they are valued and recognised.

White Ribbon also runs a database of all participants within the campaign. This needs updating regularly with supporters, riders, event organisers, ambassadors and contributors.

Communities throughout New Zealand will continue to fundraise for future White Ribbon Campaigns. These communities often need support and advice about events and the best practice.

Knowledge and Experience

You will have strong organisational skills and, ideally, some experience in event management or a willingness to learn. An understanding of Excel and spread sheets is a requirement. Common sense and the ability to future-plan will aid you in this role, as will a sense of initiative. Some communications skills would be an advantage.

Graphic Designer

An opportunity exists within our team for a graphic designer. This role involves creating and manipulating images for high impact in line with White Ribbon’s key messages. In conjunction with other team members, you will assist in the production of:

· posters for communities around New Zealand for the White Ribbon Ride; and
· graphics for the White Ribbon Facebook page.
There is also the opportunity for higher level tasks, dependent on skill levels. These may include:

· web page design;
· layout of fact sheets and media releases;
· images assisting White Ribbon fundraising efforts.

Knowledge and Experience

You will have working knowledge of photo manipulation software, like Adobe Photoshop. You should possess the ability to work within a team environment to produce creative solutions in a timely manner. While experience is not essential for this position, it would be an advantage.

Proof Reader

White Ribbon produces a number of documents which require proofing for consistency of terminology and the eradication of grammatical errors. The Proof Reader will be required to eradicate errors and maintain a consistency within written communications.

Knowledge and Experience

Strong written communication skills are requisite. Multitasking and planning abilities are also an asset.

Resources and Merchandise Coordinator(s)

This hands-on role involves managing the array of merchandise that supports the White Ribbon Campaign, from campaign posters to white ribbons, and requires an eye for detail. White Ribbon resources are channelled through a central database. This role also requires liaison with our distributors to coordinate resource supply.
Knowledge and Experience

You will have knowledge of managing Excel spread sheets and display a diligent, professional approach.

Ride Coordinators

As a White Ribbon Ride Coordinator, you will play a fundamental role in scheduling and planning local White Ribbon events around the country. You will liaise with Riders and independent Riders, the Army, Local Event Co-ordinators and other in-house team members to construct a supportive environment for Ride participants, and a media-friendly White Ribbon project. The ride is divided into manageable sections (Central, East and West regions of the North Island, and the South Island. You will work with a diverse cross-section of New Zealand society. You may also have the opportunity to go on the Ride as members of the support crew liaising with the riders, communities and press. As part of the support crew you will be required to document the ride using video and photos and upload these to the White Ribbon Facebook site throughout the day. For more information on the White Ribbon Ride click here.

Knowledge and Experience

You will have strong organisational and event management skills. Strong interpersonal skills are also key. You must be able to cope in a changing environment and have the ability to make decisions. Written and oral communications skills are an advantage as are photography skills.

Social Media Officer

The Social Media Officer is responsible for delivering White Ribbon messages through Facebook and Twitter to an audience of thousands. You will pre-plan two Facebook posts per day for November period of the campaign. On Twitter, you will also proactively tweet and/or re-tweet messages salient to the campaign and encourage other users to participate.

Knowledge and Experience

An understanding of family violence and men’s violence towards women (or willingness to learn) is a requirement. Familiarity with Facebook and Twitter platforms is essential. Some graphic design ability would be an advantage.

Written Communications Officer(s)

As a Written Communications Officer, your task is to produce and manage White Ribbon content for parties outside of the organisation. You will write articles for the White Ribbon monthly Newsletter, provide content for White Ribbon websites and Blogs that promote White Ribbon’s message of non-violence. You will work with the other Coordinators, Managers, and Officers to keep supporters updated with event information and create profiles of select issues of domestic violence in New Zealand.

Knowledge and Experience

Strong written communication and research skills are requisite. Multitasking and planning abilities are also an asset. Initiative will be essential.

 

For information on our volunteers policy click here

Open letter to the men of NZ whose violent behaviour is damaging their children

Whiteribbon2013openletter Russell Wills (3)

“White Ribbon Day – A Judges business”

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Judge Peter Boshier – White Ribbon Chair

Judges get to see a lot of domestic violence. We know that one in three women will experience partner violence some point in their lives and on average 14 women are killed every year in New Zealand by their current or former partners. There are over 3500 convictions recorded against men for assaults on women each year.

From time to time, I sit as a duty judge and we have moved into the new world of doing most of our emergency applications electronically and based on a national overview of incoming applications and judge availability throughout the whole country. The last time I did this was Friday 15 November. The violence we see is invariably by men against women and it takes all forms from bad beatings, regular assaults and often to an inability to let go of a relationship and to constant texting, abuse and breaking into their partners houses.

I have moved from the role of Principal Family Court Judge to other roles and that has allowed me a little space to do some other things. I decided I would accept the invitation to be chair of the White Ribbon Committee because White Ribbon carries a clear message that men must take responsibility for their violence to women and must change attitudes and behaviour. From what I see the message is spot on.

We have seen quite graphically in the last few weeks that bad male attitudes can start quite young. Probably by the time the much publicised roastbusters had decided to go public with their deplorable behaviour, they had learned and practised their exploitative behaviour towards females for some time.

Sadly, the attitudes and behaviour I see are widespread and certainly not limited to a particular age-group. Teenagers such as the roastbusters have inevitably learned their behaviour and the question is from whom and what responsibility do we all have to bring about change?

We launched this years White Ribbon Campaign on Monday 11 November. In the course of that I met Mark Longley and spoke to him at length about the murder of his daughter Emily in London by Elliot Turner. Turner had not only boasted to his mates that he was going to kill Emily but went further and showed them how he was going to do it. He did of course. If only one of them had spoken out!

But he is not alone in his grief. In the past year I have spoken to some of your colleagues who as parents of adult children have found that either their children or those of their friends have inexplicably become entangled in a violent relationship with a man. For any parent who has undergone this experience, the feeling of helplessness and the wish to be protective must be immense and deeply moving.

Ever since the Domestic Violence Act 1995 came into force we have had the ability to direct perpetrators of violence to programmes in order to change behaviour. But it is so very difficult to do so once the die is cast and one bad attitudes are entrenched. Furthermore, it is very costly and dubious in terms of the cost effectiveness.

The White Ribbons Campaign prime message is aimed at change at the beginning not at the end. We have seen New Zealand make quantum shifts in its thinking on a number of issues such as smoking, the compulsory wearing of seatbelts and crash helmets and more recently drink drive and speed. All of these were once much lauded macho pursuits. But they are no longer.

I think if we can begin to talk about why we have the attitudes that we do that leads to so much domestic violence and what influences we can bring to bear to change, we will achieve a fundamental shift in New Zealand thinking and behaviour. For me as a judge I will begin to see more functional families and better achieving children.

I think that bringing about attitude and behaviour change can operate at all sorts of levels. We have had the “It’s not okay” campaign which has had a very good measure of success in the public arena but we can also do it at our workplace and, by keeping a careful look out for men workers who are separating or in personal relationship difficulty, we may be able to see the early signs of domestic violence brewing.

From the position that I am now in, I see it as important to promote a leadership role by all of us for that is how we truly shift public opinion. It is by speaking out and by being clear in what we find acceptable and unacceptable.

To give real teeth to this, we have this year introduced a pledge which has been widely taken by men throughout New Zealand and it reads:

“I promise never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women”

If we can raise our consciousness about this issue and raise the bar, I am confident that we will start to see a lessening of the huge family violence workload that comes into our courts each day.

[Speech notes for Rotary Club of Wellington Monday 25 November 2013]

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Judge Boshier speaks to Rotary in Wellington on White Ribbon Day

White Ribbon Day 2013 – Dr Jackie Blue

Jackie Blue

Jackie Blue is the Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner, former MP and mother of two girls

From the outside I had everything going for me. I was a young GP. I had great friends and a loving family. My boyfriend had just moved in with me.

But the reality was far from fairy tale. I will never forget the day that finally spurred me to call the Police. We’d been at a friend’s barbecue. It was something as small as people asking me about my job. That set him off. As we drove into our carport, he started hitting me as hard as he could. That was the last time.

For two years I was in a violent relationship. It wasn’t every week or every day. It was random and unpredictable. He’d belittle me and put me down. I felt too ashamed to ask for help. That was the great irony of my life. As a doctor, I was there to help people with their problems, but I couldn’t even help myself.

That’s the sad and brutal reality for too many women. Just over a week ago I joined with thousands of others to march against sexual violence in the wake of the Roast Busters scandal. Unfortunately, that case is not an isolated incident. As I was write this media are reporting that a woman was stabbed in Lower Hutt and a Northland man was convicted of 39 sex and violence charges spanning two decades.

One in three women will experience partner violence at some point in their lives. Only 20 per cent ever report it. This should not be tolerated. We have all the evidence and research. We know what works. We need action.

We have some excellent initiatives like the violence intervention programmes running in hospitals across the country. It is helping to reduce violence by aiming to screen all women aged 16 years and over for family violence and making sure those who disclose get the support they need.

Dr Kim McGregor and Rape Prevention Education are doing excellent work in our schools to educate our young people. It would be great to see more resources made available to roll out their programmes to a wide group of young people.

But what is urgently needed is a strategy to ensure that there is a coordinated approach. The National Sexual Violence Prevention Plan that was scuppered in 2009 needs to be urgently re-instated.

But this isn’t something we can simply leave to Parliament and the Police and hope they solve the problem for us. It comes down to what we do as individuals, families and communities. That is where the change needs to take place. Fundamentally, it’s about each of us taking responsibility for the problem.

When someone is in a violent relationship, or they’re the victim of sexual violence there will always be a bystander. Someone who sees the warning signs. Someone who knows what’s going on. We need them to speak up. We need them to tell someone.

Most men are not violent, but most violence against women is perpetrated by men. That’s why we need to support our men, because they’re the role models for our children. We need them to be part of the solution.

Today is White Ribbon Day. It’s a fantastic campaign raising awareness of violence against women. This year we’re asking men to take a pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women. Whether you are a husband, father, son, brother, uncle or granddad you all have women in your life that you wouldn’t want to see subjected to violence. Make a stand and take the pledge.

Women in violent relationships are waiting to be asked. No one asked me. So I kept it to myself. Make sure the women you know no longer have to stay silent.

Jackie Blue is the Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner, former MP and mother of two girls.

Press Release – White Ribbon Day – November 25

PrintWhite Ribbon Day is the International Day for the elimination of violence against women and is recognised throughout the world.

‘I welcome the chorus of voices calling for an end to the violence that affects an estimated one in three women in her lifetime. I applaud leaders who are helping to enact and enforce laws and change mind-sets. And I pay tribute to all those heroes around the world who help victims to heal and to become agents of change.’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, United Nations.

‘This violence is an international issue and throughout history,’ says Judge Boshier, Chair of the White Ribbon Committee, ‘the world has rid our planet of many great evils from slavery and epidemics, to the denial of voting rights to our citizens. Now it is time to end the plague that is men’s violence towards women.

‘Too often we do not believe this problem is ours, however we all have mothers, grandmothers, partners, children, sisters, female friends and colleagues. While we might not be violent, can we say the same about the men that the women in our lives will come into contact with?

  • One in three women will experience partner violence at some point in their lives
  • Less than 20 percent of abuse cases are reported
  • Over 3,500 convictions are recorded against men each year for assaults on women
  • On average, 14 women a year are killed by their partners or ex-partners

‘Two of our White Ribbon Ambassadors have both lost daughters to violent men. Both deaths were avoidable tragedies. The same story can be heard throughout New Zealand – that the death of a wife, mother, daughter or friend was preventable. In so many examples, good men did nothing. They remained silent when they knew violence was occurring, they condoned behaviour that was unacceptable by such actions as smiling at the sexist joke or demeaning comments instead of saying, mate that’s not OK.

‘As men we have the ability to change the behaviour of other men. That is why I am asking all New Zealand men to take The Pledge on the White Ribbon website ‘to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women’.

‘If we as men can take responsibility for the behaviour of other men, we can, and we will change the attitudes and behaviours of men,’ says Judge Boshier.

 

White Ribbon Media Contact:

Rob McCann
White Ribbon Campaign Manager          
Secretariat for the White Ribbon Committee
(04) 917 7045 or 029 917 7045
rob.mccann@nzfamilies.org.nz

 


White Ribbon Campaign Overview

White Ribbon is an international campaign that asks men to show they won’t tolerate 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. The Families Commission took a leadership role in New Zealand in 2006 and the campaign now focuses on the whole of November, culminating on 25 November – White Ribbon Day.

White Ribbon is a campaign to change attitudes and behaviours around men’s violence towards women. This is led by men, for men. This isn’t about finger pointing or apportioning blame. It is about recognising that this is a serious problem, accepting the fact that abuse could be happening around each and every one of us, and acknowledging that it’s critical to step from the side-line and take action. White Ribbon promotes a violence-free culture change in New Zealand and in order to facilitate this, organises nationally-led projects to support local initiatives.

KEY STATISTICS

  • One in three women will experience partner violence at some point in their lives
  • Less than 20 percent of abuse cases are reported
  • Over 3,500 convictions are recorded against men each year for assaults on women
  • On average, 14 women a year are killed by their partners or ex-partners

KEY MESSAGES

  • Violence towards women is unacceptable
  • Violence is not just physical
  • Men are part of the solution
  • You can help fix this problem by taking The Pledge

More information here

CALL TO ACTION

  • Take the Pledge and make sure your actions and those of your mates are OK – take action against inappropriate behaviour
  • Make sure the women you know are OK – if not, start a conversation with them, their partners, or with someone who can help
  • For advice call the helplines 0800 456 450 or 0800 733 843 or visit www.nnsvs.org.nz or call the Police
  • Wear a white ribbon every day, join a White Ribbon project or activity and show your support

THE PLEDGE

This year the campaign will focus on men taking The Pledge – to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women. The Pledge can be taken on line at www.whiteribbon.org.nz

The Pledge is both a personal commitment to change, and through the campaign’s media outreach, will also demonstrate that thousands of New Zealanders have got your back – supporting your commitment to change. Through collective responsibility, the campaign will change attitudes and get men to take action. Those actions are detailed here and will be emailed to everyone who takes the pledge.

KEY PROJECTS

White Ribbon Ambassadors

There are now 62 Ambassadors who are men from all walks of life who are willing to stand up and support the campaign. Ambassadors include: sports stars Ruben Wiki and Harry Ngata; politicians Prime Minister John Key and Hon Pita Sharples; community leaders Auckland Mayor Len Brown and former Mayor Bob Harvey; Judges Peter Boshier and Ajit Singh; entertainers Stan Walker and Billy TK Jnr and many more. See the full list here.

White Ribbon Ride

The White Ribbon Ride is an exciting initiative to promote a violence-free culture change. The week-long motorcycle tour takes place every November with a lead group of riders steering three convoys through 80 towns in the North and South Islands, picking up support riders in every region. Events are organised in every town, from school and prison visits, marches and breakfasts, to fashion parades, quiz nights and Dads and Lads days. Download the itinerary here.

White Ribbon Online

White Ribbon has an active presence online, including Facebook with multiple posts each day, designed to provoke discussion, raise awareness and share success stories. With a viral reach that can exceed a quarter of a million people, this is a unique medium to join the conversation about ending men’s violence towards women. Visit our Facebook page.

Online Shop

Over 600,000 items were distributed last year to assist communities to promote events and activities. Both resources and merchandise are available from the online shop and donations are also accepted and will go towards the 2014 Campaign. White Ribbon Shop.

Partners

The White Ribbon Committee is chaired by Judge Peter Boshier and comprises government departments and NGOs. The committee provides strategic advice to the Campaign and organises a series of projects including the White Ribbon Ambassadors. Increasingly, prominent organisations such as New Zealand Football are promoting White Ribbon as their cause of choice. The campaign is funded by the Families Commission. Further information can be found here.

WHITE RIBBON CAMPAIGN STATISTISTICS

  • Public Awareness reached a record level of 57% in 2012
  • 237 recorded events in November, a 20% increase
  • 734 articles in the traditional media during November, an increase of 120
  • 88,802 hits on the White Ribbon website averaging at over 240 per day in 2012
  • Over 8,000 Facebook friends with a reach that exceeded 1.7 million in 2012
  • 86 communities were visited by the White Ribbon Riders
  • There are now 62 White Ribbon Ambassadors
  • Full 2012 report available here

 

White Ribbon Ambassadors take The Pledge

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Women’s Refuge spokesperson Sue Lytollis commends the White Ribbon Ambassadors for their commitment to ending men’s violence towards women.

Violence is endemic within New Zealand with one in three women experiencing violence from a partner in their lifetime, while on average, fourteen women are killed each year by a member of their own family.

Help White Ribbon to create change by taking The Pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women.

Men want to be proud fathers, uncles, grandfathers and great husbands/partners. We want our partners and kids to live in safe homes without violence. 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.

One News 11th November

Watch the launch of the 2013 White Ribbon Camapaign

White Ribbon is an international movement that condemns men’s violence towards women. Each November, White Ribbon runs a month-long campaign that culminates on 25 November, White Ribbon Day. Last year saw a focus on non-physical violence and generating conversations about men as positive role models.This year we are asking men to take ‘The Pledge’. Judge Peter Boshier, Chair of the White Ribbon Campaign and one of our White Ribbon Ambassadors, rightly identifies that “while most men are not violent, most violence against women is perpetrated by men”. This is why The Pledge is so important. It is a call to action for New Zealand men to take ownership of men’s violence towards women, and to actively be part of the solution. It can be taken both online or in person at many of the community events that occur throughout New Zealand during November.

A number of White Ribbon Ambassadors took The Pledge while participating at two ambassador meetings in November. You can take The Pledge at www.whiteribbon.org.nz To watch an ambassador take the Pledge click on their name. Judge Peter Boshier, Darren Pritchard, Chris Sola, Andy Moscrop Giblin, Evans Chibanguza, Billy TK, Brian Gardener, David White, Jeremy Logan, Julian Paton, Robert Lachlan Mackay, Shane Whitfield, Steffan Browning MP, Tim Marshall, Jonathan Young MP, Trevor Simpson, Dr Russell Wills, Ric Odom, George Ngati, Mark Longley, Te Ururoa Flavell MP and David Warren. We will add more soon.

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What is Him?

what is him

Violence against women is an issue of epic proportions in New Zealand, with one in three women experiencing partner violence at some time in her life. Tackling this issue requires a multidimensional approach, and the power of media cannot be overstated. Andrea Cook, with a background in production, and Laura Whittaker, with a background in film, from Canterbury University, tackle the issue of violence against women through their 20 minute documentary ‘What is Him?’ which recently screened at Riccarton Hoyts Cinema.

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Laura Whittaker,

Andrea and Laura recorded the voices of twenty-one men and asked questions about masculinity and being a man. Andrea reflects on these questions

“We heard some of the stereotypes men are living with. We heard some of the journeys that living out these stereotypes can take men on, and recoveries from these.”

Being involved in a documentary like this, and hearing such powerful stories, has a personal impact. Laura reflects on the journey on which this documentary has taken her:

“Making this documentary has opened my eyes to how bad our society is about violence and speaking up about it. I was previously unaware of this fact and these men have really shone a light on this for me.”

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Andrea and Laura

The full-feature documentary will explore in more depth the themes of masculine stereotypes and the role of media in creating and perpetuating violence. Andrea and Laura feel that exploring these issues is crucial as masculine stereotypes and the role of the media “not only harms women, but also creates confusing and harmful images for boys and young men about what it means to be a man.”

If you would like to purchase a copy of this short film, or give a donation towards completion of the larger project, please email Andrea Cook at platformcreativenz@gmail.com. Copies of the DVDs are $15.

Tiffany’s Story

Aramoana2Tiffany Wilkinson of Dunedin is a 27 year old registered nurse originally from Levin. Tiffany is a mother to a four year old girl; she is also a partner, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. She is a gym bunny and she loves to read, bake and cook. She is also a “victim” of a brutal attack, has post-traumatic stress disorder, issues with anxiety, has nightmares nearly every night, and she is often afraid to go out in public.  But importantly, and further to all of these things, Tiffany Wilkinson is a hero. She demonstrates the strength and courage of a mother protecting her young, the integrity and spirit of a young woman, and the wisdom and composure of someone far beyond her years. Inspirationally, Tiffany is joining the 2013 White Ribbon Campaign by using her story to tell New Zealanders that “violence is not okay, but it is okay to ask for help”.

On 9am on 19 November 2012 Tiffany was attacked by Michael John Chilcott (then 21) when he came to her door at Duncan Street in Dunedin requesting a drink of water. A true nurturer, Tiffany happily obliged, only to be stabbed in the neck repeatedly with a pair of scissors and choked while she was sexually assaulted. Tiffany’s daughter Ally was in the next room and Chilcott threatened to harm Ally if Tiffany resisted him. But Tiffany did more than resist, she managed to fight off Chilcott and appease him so she could escape to safety with Ally. Tiffany had severe life-threatening injuries which she continues to deal with today, just under a year after this horrendous attack.

“When I woke up, I thought, what just happened?” she explains. Tiffany had spent her life never considering that “something like this” could ever happen to her. Adjusting to life after the attack has been an uphill climb and “there isn’t a thing that it hasn’t impacted”, she mentions. Yet even still, Tiffany shows profound compassion for her attacker. “I feel bad for him. I think that he’s going to have to live with this for the rest of his life but I’m going to keep going. And I think that I’ve got freedom for the next five years, but he doesn’t.”

And with that freedom, Tiffany has chosen to help make a difference to the lives of others; the lives of her patients, her daughter, her friends and family and those who come into contact with her, and now the New Zealand public. Tiffany reflects on violence in New Zealand

“When I think about violence towards women, I tend to think about domestic violence and I’ve not experienced that issue, so I can’t begin to imagine what it must be like to go through something like that so many times.”

Her story, she anticipates, will help others by creating awareness not just about violence, but about survival and preventing an incident like this from ever happening again. The White Ribbon campaign fundamentally appeals to Tiffany as a forum to share her story rather than the array of press that have contacted her looking for a story. By having others hear her fight to protect Ally and to survive the ordeal, she hopes, will show others in violent situations that asking for help is okay and the violence should never be the norm.

On violence towards women particularly, Tiffany urges men to be good role models. Her partner Justin and her father are some of the role models in her life, having supported her fully before and after the incident. Tiffany’s survival is also attributed to the Judo lessons her father would take her to when she was young.

“I think men are role models, and they need to show children how they need to behave. The biggest thing a father can do for his kids is to respect his partner and his wife. And to show love towards to her and show kids the love and how to behave.”

This, she believes, will shape loving and respectful men and in turn reduce the escalating amount of violence towards women. She believes that owning that violence too is a “huge step” for men. The 2013 White Ribbon Pledge, “I promise to never commit, condone or stay silent about violence towards women”, is close to her heart as Chilcott pleaded guilty to lesser charges than those originally laid against him. Admission and ownership of violence, she explains, would be monumental for men and for New Zealand.

Tiffany’s survival would not be possible without her family; her partner “the most amazing man”; Ally, her “reason for getting up in the morning”; her ACC Case Manager; the woman that took Ally and herself to the hospital after the attack and her understanding colleagues. She reminds us how important support networks are in life. She reminds us to grab life by the reins, and do the things you enjoy and care about. She reminds us that heroes emerge from the most terrifying situations, to ask for help and to say no to violence.

If you or anyone you know requires support regarding violence towards women, click here for more information or the police.

Show Tiffany your support by leaving a message for her: www.tiffanyismyhero.com

 

What are WE going to do about the violence?

Press Release

11 November 2013

What are WE going to do about the violence?

Last week New Zealanders had a wakeup call witnessing the misogynistic attitudes of a group of young men which led to an alleged rape, an act of terrible violence towards women.

“These attitudes are epidemic in our country,” says White Ribbon Chair Judge Boshier. “They result in the 3,500 convictions against men for assaults on women and the ultimately cost the lives of 14 women a year who are killed by their partners or ex-partners.

White Ribbon is the largest male led anti-violence campaign in the world and aims to end men’s violence towards women. This year the campaign is focusing on getting men to take action.

“To end this violence we need to demonstrate to men that this violent behaviour is no longer acceptable,” says Judge Boshier. “Join the White Ribbon Ambassadors and thousands of other men as we take The Pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women.

The Pledge is a simple statement and when taken the men are provided with resources to help them take action and change attitudes and behaviours. The Pledge lets men know that thousands of New Zealanders have got their back, and support their decision to help make Aotearoa a violence-free country. The Pledge can be taken online at www.whiteribbon.org.nz

“While most men are not violent, most violence is perpetrated by men,” says Judge Boshier. “We know that one of the best ways to change behaviour is to change social norms. Right now, far too many people still think that violence is acceptable. And in too many cases, their friends and colleagues don’t speak up. It is that silence that leads men to believe violence is okay. The Roastbuster group is an example of behaviour that was allowed to continue, drawing in other young men and encouraging further repugnant behaviour.

“The time for looking away is over. I’m promoting this pledge because if we all take responsibility for this serious problem, we can change both attitudes and behaviour. For too long I’ve seen the results of family violence, for our mothers, our daughters, our colleagues, our friends and our partners – we need to take a stand, and it starts with The Pledge.

White Ribbon Media Contact:
Rob McCann
White Ribbon Campaign Manager          
Secretariat for the White Ribbon Committee
(04) 917 7045 or 029 917 7045
contact@whiteribbon.org.nz


White Ribbon Campaign Overview

White Ribbon is an international campaign that asks men to show they won’t tolerate 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. The Families Commission took a leadership role in New Zealand in 2006 and the campaign now focuses on the whole of November, culminating on 25 November – White Ribbon Day.

White Ribbon is a campaign to change attitudes and behaviours around men’s violence towards women. This is led by men, for men. This isn’t about finger pointing or apportioning blame. It is about recognising that this is a serious problem, accepting the fact that abuse could be happening around each and every one of us, and acknowledging that it’s critical to step from the side-line and take action. White Ribbon promotes a violence-free culture change in New Zealand and in order to facilitate this, organises nationally-led projects to support local initiatives.

KEY Statistics

  • One in three women will experience partner violence at some point in their lives
  • Less than 20 percent of abuse cases are reported
  • Over 3,500 convictions are recorded against men each year for assaults on women
  • On average, 14 women a year are killed by their partners or ex-partners

Key Messages

  • Violence towards women is unacceptable
  • Violence is not just physical
  • Men are part of the solution
  • You can help fix this problem by taking The Pledge

More information here

CALL TO ACTION

  • Take the Pledge and make sure your actions and those of your mates are OK – take action against inappropriate behaviour
  • Make sure the women you know are OK – if not, start a conversation with them, their partners, or with someone who can help
  • For advice call the helplines 0800 456 450 or 0800 733 843 or visit www.nnsvs.org.nz or call the Police
  • Wear a white ribbon every day, join a White Ribbon project or activity and show your support

THE PLEDGE

This year the campaign will focus on men taking The Pledge – to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women. The Pledge can be taken on line at www.whiteribbon.org.nz

The Pledge is both a personal commitment to change, and through the campaign’s media outreach, will also demonstrate that thousands of New Zealanders have got your back – supporting your commitment to change. Through collective responsibility, the campaign will change attitudes and get men to take action. Those actions are detailed here and will be emailed to everyone who takes the pledge.

Key Projects

White Ribbon Ambassadors

There are now 62 Ambassadors who are men from all walks of life who are willing to stand up and support the campaign. Ambassadors include: sports stars Ruben Wiki and Harry Ngata; politicians Prime Minister John Key and Hon Pita Sharples; community leaders Auckland Mayor Len Brown and former Mayor Bob Harvey; Judges Peter Boshier and Ajit Singh; entertainers Stan Walker and Billy TK Jnr and many more. See the full list here.

White Ribbon Ride

The White Ribbon Ride is an exciting initiative to promote a violence-free culture change. The week-long motorcycle tour takes place every November with a lead group of riders steering three convoys through 80 towns in the North and South Islands, picking up support riders in every region. Events are organised in every town, from school and prison visits, marches and breakfasts, to fashion parades, quiz nights and Dads and Lads days. Download the itinerary here.

White Ribbon Online

White Ribbon has an active presence online, including Facebook with multiple posts each day, designed to provoke discussion, raise awareness and share success stories. With a viral reach that can exceed a quarter of a million people, this is a unique medium to join the conversation about ending men’s violence towards women. Visit our Facebook page.

Online Shop

Over 600,000 items were distributed last year to assist communities to promote events and activities. Both resources and merchandise are available from the online shop and donations are also accepted and will go towards the 2014 Campaign. White Ribbon Shop.

PARTNERS

The White Ribbon Committee is chaired by Judge Peter Boshier and comprises government departments and NGOs. The committee provides strategic advice to the Campaign and organises a series of projects including the White Ribbon Ambassadors. Increasingly, prominent organisations such as New Zealand Football are promoting White Ribbon as their cause of choice. The campaign is funded by the Families Commission. Further information can be found here.

WHITE RIBBON CAMPAIGN STATISTISTICS

  • Public Awareness reached a record level of 57% in 2012
  • 237 recorded events in November, a 20% increase
  • 734 articles in the traditional media during November, an increase of 120
  • 88,802 hits on the White Ribbon website averaging at over 240 per day in 2012
  • Over 8,000 Facebook friends with a reach that exceeded 1.7 million in 2012
  • 86 communities were visited by the White Ribbon Riders
  • There are now 62 White Ribbon Ambassadors
  • Full 2012 report available here
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