Launch of the White Ribbon Campaign
November 23, 2014
The White Ribbon Ride launched on the Skytower, some 186 meters above the ground with three hand-chosen White Ribbon Ambassadors on Tuesday 18 November.
Broadcast on Seven Sharp, the launch featured Mark Longley, Steffan Browning MP and George Ngatai as they laced up their colourful footwear and held the first Walk A Mile in Her Shoes while battling the winds above the Auckland skyline, and most importantly, their own fear of heights.
“We’re asking men to take action,” says White Ribbon Ambassador Mark Longley, “so it’s only right that we should undertake something that we’re uncomfortable with. I wanted to challenge myself to do something that I was scared to do.
For some people that might be skydiving or boxing, but I’ve done those things and loved them. Walking on metal grating and glass more than three Olympic swimming pools high – that’s never been on my bucket list, but I was persuaded to do it for White Ribbon.
“If I’m going to ask men to stop being silent, then I’ve got to be willing to do something that makes me uneasy. It’s as simple as that – leadership by example.
“As men we must never remain silent. My daughter Emily is no longer with us and I can honestly say that if Elliot Turner’s male friends had taken action, she would be alive today. If they had taken the White Ribbon Pledge ‘to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women’ they would have intervened. They would have told their ‘mate’ that his behaviour was not OK. They would have warned Emily and a tragedy would have been averted.”
On average fourteen women are killed every year and hundreds hospitalised. Police respond to a family violence incident every 5½ minutes and whether we want to admit it or not, men are by far and away responsible for the majority of the serious violence.
We must put a stop to this behaviour by demonstrating leadership.
As men we have the ability to influence our mates’ behaviour. It is something we can, and we must do. So please join with me by taking The Pledge. Let’s get off the side line, because it’s time we were in the game of preventing violence.
White Ribbon Ambassador
Special thanks to the