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


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.


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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 or call the Police
  • Wear a white ribbon every day, join a White Ribbon project or activity and show your support


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

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.


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.


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.


  • 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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