Fathers Day planning session for White Ribbon Ride

White Ribbon Ride Visits Schools in the North Island

Fathers Day planning session for White Ribbon Ride

While many dads will wake up to presents or breakfast in bed this Sunday, one group of men will be meeting in Blenheim to prepare for the South Island White Ribbon Ride.

The White Ribbon Campaign managed by the Families Commission is bringing the highly successful anti-violence ride to the South Island for the first time. The motorcycle ride is led by the Super Maori Fullas and the Patriots Defence Forces Motorcycle Club.

“These men want to make a difference and help end violence towards women,” says Rob McCann, Families Commission Campaign Manager.  “Many of the men we work with have endured violence as children, and have gone on to become perpetrators. What they didn’t have were men willing to offer advice and tell them their behaviour as parents was not acceptable. Many of these men grew up and became parents in a time when what went on in the home was no one else’s business.”

Patriot and White Ribbon Ride Road Captain Rick Henry explains, “Growing up with violence is no excuse to dish it out when you get bigger. But that’s what I did, and for that I’m sorry. I, like the other Patriots, want to do our bit to end violence towards women, and children.”

“The South Island Patriots are joining the White Ribbon Ride to show their support for women living violence-free. With all our members either former or current members of the armed forces, we don’t get called soft too often. We’re all strong blokes, and proud too, because we know how to treat women with dignity and respect.”

Rutherford Junior High School, Whanganui

Mr McCann agrees, We want men to know that showing love and affection is far more manly, and will earn you respect not fear. If you want your kid to have a healthy childhood, be affectionate and supportive, not angry and violent. We’re celebrating Father’s day by planning visits to some 30 communities in the South Island. We hope kids and adults can listen to a message of non violence, and understand it’s ok to play sports with controlled aggression, ride a bike, watch boxing, but it’s not ok to turn that aggression into violence towards your partner, or child.”

In 2010 the ride visited over 40 communities. That number is expected to rise to around 70 communities this November.

“Events are being organised throughout the country to raise awareness, get men to start talking, and take action,” says Mr McCann. “Men are less likely to respond to authority figures telling them what they can or can’t do. However the guys we have on the ride are just ordinary tough blokes, and when they talk about non-violence, other guys listen. The ride is about men talking to men, in ways that men understand.”

Rob McCann
White Ribbon Campaign Manager
DDI 04 917 7045 I Mobile 029 917 7045 I Fax 04 917 7059
Email: rob.mccann@nzfamilies.org.nz
Web: www.nzfamilies.org.nz

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

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