White Ribbon and Vodafone Warriors join forces to end family violence

The Warriors are joining forces with the Auckland Family Safety Team and White Ribbon to help raise awareness of men’s violence against women.

White Ribbon is a symbol used by communities to show that they do not condone violence towards women. In New Zealand most violence by men against women takes place in the home – each year an average of 14 women are killed by their partners or ex-partners and more than 3500 convictions for assaults on women are recorded each year.

The Warriors have added their voice to the growing movement that wants to eliminate family violence, inviting White Ribbon to Mount Smart Stadium on Saturday 1 May for their game against the Raiders.

“We want our community to be safe for all women and children,” says Ruben Wiki, White Ribbon Ambassador and Warriors High Performance Assistant. “As a team we aim to treat each other as family. There’s a high level of respect and we look out for one another. Families should be no different. No one should suffer intimidation or violence. As a team we hope we can play a small part in ending family violence.”

In the 12 month period ending 30 June 2009, New Zealand Police recorded just over 30,700 family violence related incidents and offences in the Auckland Region, a level similar to the previous year. New Zealand Police have given strong focus to responding to family violence, and have resolved 97% of family violence related offences during the period.

Sergeant Pat Waters of the Auckland Family Safety Team believes that, by working with both the perpetrator and victim to find appropriate support, real and lasting solutions are possible. “The complex nature of family violence means that we don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach. We might be assisting a grandmother experiencing violence from her children’s family, a partner experiencing intimate partner violence or a situation where children are involved.

“The way we view violence has moved on in that it’s not enough just to punish the offender, rather we work to ensure there is an opportunity for the offender to grow and understand the consequences of their actions and work to change their behavior,” says Sergeant Waters.

White Ribbon offers men a chance to be part of the solution to end violence. We want men to be leaders and to take positive steps and be at the forefront of change.

“The Warriors are providing an excellent example of how men can take part and support the movement to end family violence. You can either ignore the problem, or you can acknowledge that you can have a positive role in reducing the incidents of violence. The Warriors have chosen to become part of the solution,” said Sergeant Waters.

“As someone who is passionate about ending family violence, I want men to start talking to their mates if they see violence. As men we should be grown up enough to have that conversation and to ask for help when we need it. As the adverts say, violence is not ok, but it is OK to ask for help”, says Ruben.

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White Ribbon is a community led campaign to end men's violence towards women

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