White Ribbon Report for 2011
March 9, 2012
WHITE RIBBON REPORT 2011
Each year a full report is produced to report back to our stakeholders. Please download the full report here or read the ‘Introduction’, ‘Summary’ or ‘Conclusion’ on this page.
White Ribbon is a campaign to change attitudes and behaviours around men’s violence to women. It began in Canada in 1991 when the murders of 14 women prompted a response which set in motion a worldwide movement, bolstered by a United Nations’ endorsement in 1999. UNIFEM brought White Ribbon to New Zealand in 2004. The Families Commission took the lead role in 2006, working alongside the White Ribbon Committee. White Ribbon now forms part of the Families Commission’s response to family violence and became a campaign in 2009.
In New Zealand, most serious intimate partner violence is perpetrated by men against women, with the costs associated with family violence estimated at between $1.2 and $5.8 billon each year. The White Ribbon Campaign proposes that men should talk to men in ways that men understand, to effectively capture their attention and present men as part of the solution.
The campaign aims to create a new norm, where violence against women is considered unacceptable, while creating a new narrative of ‘men without violence’. In order to achieve these goals, unique and vibrant campaign projects were created that emphasised the best aspects of masculinity.
Summary of the 2011 Campaign
Nowhere is this better exemplified than in the White Ribbon Ride, which in 2011 visited more than 80 communities throughout the country, including schools and prisons. Men from the Patriots Defence Force Motorcycle Club (whose members are former and current members of the defence services) and Te Ahi Kikoha (a group of Māori health professionals) deliver the campaign messages at a wide range of pre-planned, community events. This project helped to attract record press coverage.
The addition of Te Ahi Kikoha, the inclusion of Iwi in the South Island Ride, the production of Māori designed Metal bages, and the incorporation of tikanaga within the White Ribbon Kaupapa has also strengthened the White Ribbon, while helping to grow the existing connections the campaign has with Māori.
Other projects which complement the Ride include the White Ribbon Ambassadors project, with representatives drawn from prominent and local, anti-violence crusaders; the Newspaper Pledge Project, which published hundreds of men’s signatures pledging support for the Campaign; and the Giant White Ribbon Pledge Project which joined 60 white ribbon panels and sent them around the country, attracting thousands of signatures, and made into a giant white ribbon which will be displayed throughout New Zealand in 2012.
The projects were supported by an extensive media component that utilised both traditional and new media. Record coverage was generated through the projects such as the Ride where the campaign worked with over 80 communities throughout New Zealand. The reach of physical events was significantly enhanced by the use of social media, which connected with over 7000 Facebook users per day, at the height of the campaign. The White Ribbon website attracted a record 58,910 hits, providing indepth, family violence information and support to communities; monthly newsletters energised and informed the community.
Free resources (such as ribbons, posters, balloons, tattoos etc) were provided to communities to assist with, and support, awareness-raising through local activities. With a record 530,000 White Ribbons and more than 650,000 items shipped to communities, these resources gave the campaign a physical presence throughout New Zealand.
The integrated campaign has built an army of passionate White Ribbon supporters forming not just a campaign, but a movement, with the ribbon a symbol of commitment and change. This adoption of the ribbon and the high level of community buy-in have led to a record number of local initiatives, empowering communities and men to take action.
The White Ribbon campaign is firmly cemented in the minds of both those who actively fight family violence and those who are aware of the issue of family violence and violence against women. The challenge for the campaign now is to grow the kaupapa to include those who are unaware that family violence is an issue that affects all of New Zealand regardless of ethnicity or wage bracket.
The focus remains on men’s violence toward women. However communities continue to regard the white ribbon as a symbol of their growing intolerance of all forms of violence. This duality of purpose within the campaign is seen as strength with the national campaign focusing on the key messages and communities adding to those at a regional level.
Integral to the success of the campaign is the integration of a number of individual White Ribbon projects all combining to reinforce the central theme of the 2010 campaign, that being a man does not require violence, as epitomised by our first White Ribbon Ambassador Ruben Wiki (who played with controlled aggression on the field but did not bring that aggression/violence into his home or relationships).
The success of the White Ribbon Ride and the addition of a South Island ride underpinned a vibrant campaign that successfully spoke to men in ways that men understood, with this project reaching more than 80 communities across New Zealand. This success was measured in a number ways and none more so than by the increased media reporting during an election cycle, increased reach of both Facebook and the website, and increased demand for resources.
The campaign aimed to raise awareness and encourage men and communities to take action and this was supported by a number of high profile events. These included the White Ribbon Ride and the Pledge Project.
Community groups continue to use White Ribbon Day to focus on family violence issues and activities generally, many of which are linked with the ‘It’s not OK’ message. White Ribbon Day continues to complement and consolidate the messages of the Campaign for Action on Family Violence. Both are useful tools in the over-arching programme of action to change attitudes and behaviour around family violence.
What does success look like for the White Ribbon campaign when police estimate that only 17% to 20% of family violence is reported? By virtue of this statistic, success is not an immediate statistical reduction in violence against women; rather, it is increased reporting and decreased public tolerance. We believe both of these have been achieved, through a whole of government approach and multi-faceted campaigns such as White Ribbon and It’s not OK. Family Violence is an endemic issue engrained in many parts of our society. It will require long-term solutions. Success for White Ribbon is a campaign that brings all parties to the table seeking long-term change. This is demonstrated by successive administrations supporting the campaign and championing it with both major parties contributing Ambassadors. It is also supported by a number of MPs that wear a White Ribbon throughout the year.
Success is also demonstrated by the third parties that have adopted White Ribbon, such as the Kapiti Council which declared itself the first White Ribbon Council, or New Zealand Football, which made White Ribbon the cause associated with the All Whites, or the many unions which have developed resources to further the campaign in their workplaces. Our relationships with sporting codes including League, Rugby and now Football have all assisted the campaign to model good behaviour and connect with New Zealanders.
Our developing relationships with businesses will see us hold our first-ever corporate event in Auckland this year, as we continue to increase the number of our working partners, and ensure the campaign is funded through a broad base, further protecting the ongoing work required to realise the vision of White Ribbon.
To measure the effectiveness of the campaign we have developed a wide range of indicators.
The Media Monitors Survey
This tracks the quantity and quality of reports in the media and new media. (410 press clippings, 54 broadcasts, 159 internet news, and 453 internet social media articles), all the highest totals ever, while favorability has reached an all time high.
The Omnibus Survey
This tracks the recognition factor of White Ribbon and the participation rates – the campaign is now recognised by 45% of New Zealanders with 20% of New Zealanders participating in the campaign.
This online survey was sent to all those who had contact with White Ribbon throughout the year. The 21 question survey found that 49% of respondents were very satisfied, 43.8% satisfied and 7.3% neutral with the delivery of the campaign, while 47.3% rated the effectiveness of the campaign as very effective and 45.1% found it effective.
This survey is specifically designed to ensure the White Ribbon Ride is delivered in the best possible manner, learning from past events and is filled out by the communities responsible for hosting the riders. The response was overwhelmingly positive: “Seeing these staunch looking men, and hearing their respectful messages of non-violence, shows our young boys how to be strong without being violent, how to have relationships with women without using power and control, how to be good men.” Gerry Brooking, Wairarapa Family Violence Network.
Data is collated from the website, Facebook and Twitter, enabling the campaign to monitor how many people are connecting with the campaign and what generates the most impact. The Website hits reached 58,910, with thousands of downloads of material. Twitter followers grew to 200, with retweeting reaching thousands more. Facebook exceeded all expectations with over 50,000 monthly, active users in November and with a viral reach per day peaking at 7887.
This measurement is very significant because the number of events gives some indication as to whether communities recognise that White Ribbon is an effective tool to create change. 197 events in 2011, nearly double that of 2008.
This gives an indication of the demand and value communities placed on the resource items. Over 650,000 items were ordered and distributed in 2011.
Most Significant Change
This process provides qualitative data on the impact of the ride. It is a process that assists in evaluation and highlights key recommendations from those involved. “The ride is a gift to those who partake as well as those who are touched by it… it is truly a crusade against the scourge of domestic violence that has invaded our homes, community and country.” MSC interviewee.
Taken together these indicators demonstrate a campaign with a tremendous reach that far outweighs the small budget available to it. Through innovative projects, and a clear linkage between these projects and the campaign goals, the team has been able to work in a collaborative manner throughout New Zealand, creating a passionate army of supporters all working for change under the White Ribbon banner. The co-founder of the White Ribbon has this to say about the New Zealand Campaign.
“In my work, I’m fortunate to see the efforts of men and women all over the world working to end violence against women. A year ago, I had the pleasure of observing the New Zealand White Ribbon Campaign first-hand and I’ve been following it closely ever since. I can say without hesitation that it is at the absolute forefront of international efforts to engage men and boys to end violence against women. Its community outreach (for example, through well-organised work with local newspapers and the incredible awareness-raising motorcycle ride – neither of which have a parallel anywhere in the world – is nothing short of inspirational. I hope there are opportunities for organisations the world over to learn from the New Zealand WRC. And I hope they’re able to take the sound next steps to have an even greater impact. This will only enhance the leadership it is providing in New Zealand and, by inspiration, abroad.”
Michael Kaufman, Ph.D. Co-founder, White Ribbon Campaign, Toronto, Canada
White Ribbon Campaign Manager