R Kelly’s announcement to tour NZ – White Ribbon comments

R. Kelly will tour Australia and NZ next year. Picture: AFP / Getty

The death and vigils for Grace Millane gave New Zealand an opportunity to do more than mourn for Grace and the 14 New Zealand women killed by men this year. We have a chance to put these feelings of horror to a practical use.

White Ribbon’s Manager is asking people to think about the media they are watching and using.

“White Ribbon is asking men who are not violent to get involved in violence prevention,” says Mr McCann. “To make getting involved easy, we have created eight actions which support Respectful Relationships (which is a prevention against violence) and that get people off the side-lines and active.”

“When people take the online White Ribbon Pledge to stand up, speak out and act against men’s violence towards women, they are asked to choose an action. In the case of R Kelly we would ask that people think about the media they use and that includes the music we listen to.

“Is it sending all the wrong signals? Does it treat women like objects? Is it sexist?

“We would ask people to consider what signal they want to send to their friends and colleagues and children. Do you want to listen to a man that has multiple accusations of harrowing sexual, mental and physical abuse brought against him?

“It’s a personal choice, but if it were me, I would not go. I would not want my sons to think that I believe the alleged behaviour of R Kelly is ok.

“The time for vigils is drawing to an end. Now it’s time for action.”

White Ribbon wants to make a difference by getting people actively involved in violence prevention by taking the online pledge at www.whiteribbon.org.nz and choosing one of eight actions.


  1. Listening and believing women.
  2. Reflecting on and changing their behaviour.
  3. Disrupting other men’s violence towards women.
  4. Treating women as equals.
  5. Choose how to be a man and how I will act.
  6. Talk to a young man about breaking out of the Man Box.
  7. Think about what they watch and the media they use.
  8. Talk with young men about respectful relationships and pornography.


These actions all support Respectful Relationships (which is a protection against violence) and get people actively involved in preventing men’s violence towards women.

Each action is linked to videos which may be copied or shared.


Notes from The Courier Mail

While Kelly was R&B royalty in the 1990s, in recent years he’s become embroiled in a series of sex scandals.

The singer dropped a 19-minute single titled I Admit in July to “set the record straight” on multiple allegations of sexual misconduct he has been facing for years.

In the song, Kelly admitted that he’d “made some mistakes” but said he did not abuse or sexually assault women. R. Kelly has been accused by multiple women of running a “sex cult,” brainwashing and sexually abusing women, including some teenagers.

He has repeatedly denied the claims.

In May, a woman named Faith Rodgers alleged the I Believe I Can Fly singer “mentally, sexually and verbally” abused her during a roughly year-long relationship, according to a civil claim.

She alleged Kelly sexually abused and demeaned her, locked her in rooms and vehicles for punishment and infected her with herpes.

A three-part docuseries about the singer, Surviving R. Kelly, will air on US television in January, just a month before Kelly’s Australian tour. The series will give voice to many of Kelly’s alleged victims, who are set to detail harrowing accusations of sexual, mental and physical abuse against him.




Grace Millane

Our thoughts go out to the Millane family whose grief will be unimaginable. Their message to New Zealand is here.

So many New Zealanders have been horrified as this story has unfolded. This is a time to stand together, share that pain and show our compassion for Grace and her family. Thank you for honouring her contribution to the world and and saying time’s up on the violence, intimidation and the senseless waste of lives all around the world.

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While this story has touched all of us, the wider story often goes untold. As a country we need to wake up and recognise that as many as 14 women are killed in domestic violence each year. Many more pass through our hospitals with serious injuries. Police investigate over 118,000 family violence incidents every year. That amounts to 41% of a front line officer’s time.

White Ribbon believes attitudes have to change, and over the last few days Mark Longley, Richie Hardcore, Rob McCann and Anna Campbell have all spoken to a wide range of media saying the same thing: that something good must come out of this tragedy; that men’s attitudes towards women need to change; and that we all need to play a role in ending family violence.

Please take the White Ribbon Pledge to ‘stand up, speak out and act against men’s violence towards women’ at whiteribbon.org.nz and when you do, choose from one of eight actions that help to reduce men’s violence towards women.

That’s our challenge to you. If you haven’t taken The Pledge, do it now and encourage others to do the same. Let’s get people active now because there should not need to be another death to make us care.

Vigils Across New Zealand

There are a number of vigils planned for Grace. Please support them wherever you are. (Thanks to Newshub and NZ Herald for this information)
Queenstown, Tuesday 11th, 7pm, The Boatshed Cafe.
Auckland, Wednesday 12th, 6pm, St Patrick’s Cathedral Square
Auckland, Wednesday 12th, 7pm, Federal Street.
Hamilton, Wednesday 12th, 7pm, Location Memorial Park*
New Plymouth, Wednesday 12th, 7pm, Puki Ariki Landing.
Wellington, Wednesday 12th, 7pm, Civic Square.
Nelson, Wednesday 12th, 7pm, 1903 Square.
Christchurch, Wednesday 12th, 7pm, Cathedral Square.
Dunedin, Wednesday 12th, 7pm, Lower Octagon.
Memorial Cruise, Friday 14th, 10pm, Gather at Quay Street to cruise to Scenic Drive, Waitakere.
Auckland, Saturday 15th, 12pm, Auckland City.
Mount Manganui, Saturday 15th, 8pm Sunset vigil at Surf Club.
Blenheim, Wednesday 12th, 7pm, Taylor River Amphitheatre.
Rotorua, Wednesday Tutanekai and Hinemoa Sts,
Kapiti, Saturday 15th, 8:30pm, Paraparaumu Beach
Tauranga Friday 14th at the Waterfront on the Strand, 7pm

* Location to be confirmed

Anna Campbell on the AM Show

Mark Longley on The Project

Rob McCann on BBC World News

Mikaela aka Mouse performed an original song on the night re-writing the words to for Grace

Mikaela aka Mouse performed an original song on the night re-writing the words to for Grace.

I see a silhouette figure staring back at me
In the doorway or under the covers protecting me while I sleep
With the angel lights guiding me
I can finally tell her just what I mean

And I know that things have their time
But why’d you have to go before I finished mine

And I wish I could’ve said goodbye
I wish I could’ve told her, she’s always on my mind
This is my goodbye song
It’s what I’ve wanted to say all along
This is my goodbye song

There’s a million reasons why I could be missing you
From the way you look to all the little things you do
And I hope the world’s being good to you
That you’re looking down on me the way I’m looking up at you

And I know things happen for a reason
But is it too much to ask, for one more chance?

Just to say goodbye
Just to tell her, she’s always on my mind
This is my goodbye song
It’s what I’ve wanted to say all along
This is my goodbye song
And this is my goodbye song

Day will come and
Night will fall and
All the stars will align
Clouds will form and
Winter mornings
I’ll dream she’s right there by my side

Now’s my chance to say goodbye
Now’s my chance to tell her, she’s always on my mind
This is my goodbye song
It’s what I’ve wanted to say all along
This is my goodbye song

White Ribbon Day 25 Nov 2018


“White Ribbon is challenging non-violent men to stand up and take The Pledge,” says Rob McCann White Ribbon Manager. “Without the visible support of good men, we can’t hope to reduce men’s violence towards women.”

New Zealand has the highest rate of reported violence towards women in the developed world with 41% of front line Police Officers’ time spent on family harm. That’s over 118,000 family violence investigations in 2006, about one every five minutes!

“There are many reasons why men should help to end the violence,” says Mr McCann, “but the reality is that using violence in your life means everyone loses. White Ribbon promotes Respectful Relationships because it is a protection against violence and because it is good for men. Men are happier and have more meaningful lives when people love them, rather than fear them.”

Respectful relationships are based on:

  • Equality between men and women. Gender equity in personal relationships, and all social spheres, reduces violence against women.
  • Flexible gender behaviour for all. Having men break out of the Man Box and choosing their own masculine identity prevents their use of violence.
  • Non-violent communication. Men being emotionally aware and expressive gives them alternatives to aggression.
  • Enthusiastic consent for all sexual activities. Having willing participation is crucial to preventing sexual violence.

“This White Ribbon Day, as men we have an opportunity to make New Zealand a better place,” says Mr McCann. “Yes, ending men’s violence will help our mothers, our daughters and all the women in our lives, but it will also help men.”

“We need to live in a society where men are supported to be caring, express their emotions and give and receive love. The old stereotypes or the ‘man box’, where we’re told to harden up and don’t play like a girl, need to be rejected.”

When men take the online Pledge they will be asked to choose from one of eight actions which all support Respectful Relationships, and get men actively preventing men’s violence towards women. They will then receive information and a video about how to build that action into their lives.

“We can only achieve real change when good men stand up for what they believe,” says Mr McCann.

Take the Pledge at www.whiteribbon.org.nz


Launch of the 2018 Stand Up Campaign

On Monday we launched Stand Up – a campaign that asks men to do more than simply be non-violent. It asks us to be proactive and provides eight actions which men can take. Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Domestic and Sexual Violence issues) Jan Logie introduced the concept and our campaign video.


To view all the Stand Up videos click here

Shine a Light on Family Violence

Join Anika Moa and Daffodils at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron to celebrate all the amazing work that our family violence advocates undertake across New Zealand. Vectra Lights will light up the Auckland Harbour Bridge at 8:30pm to Shine a Light on Domestic Violence. Join us at the venue or from a vantage point somewhere in Auckland, and we’ll post it on Facebook if you can’t be there.

To attend this free event just email contact@whiteribbon.org.nz


Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron
181 Westhaven Drive, Westhaven Marina
6:30pm to 9:00pm refreshments provided
Proudly brought to you by White Ribbon, Soroptimist International of Auckland Inc. and Vector Lights
(non alcoholic gig, acts will be semi acoustic)

Stand Up Wairarapa

Each community has a different way of promoting White Ribbon. This year in the Wairarapa they are doing things differently. Rather than concentrating on an event, they’re focusing on challenging men to take the Pledge and have organised local men to make a series of adverts that encourage this activity.

Here’s the communication that explains what the Wairarapa community are doing.

Sunday 25 November is White Ribbon and this year’s theme is STAND UP.

The Family Violence Network has been raising awareness about White Ribbon here in the Wairarapa for at least 10 years.  So many of you have showed your support by wearing the White Ribbon,  walked a mile with your feet squished into 4inch heels and competed in running relays dragging tractor tyres!  Your support to raise awareness in the Wairarapa has been tremendous.

Quite often when raising awareness about White Ribbon, responses from people are spoken as if it’s “those people, not us”.  It is us.  Preventing men’s violence towards women is the responsibility of all of us.  We’re horrified when we hear of the statistics, it’s time we moved beyond raising awareness, it’s time to take Action to have real social impact in the Wairarapa.

This year we’re doing things a little differently …

We’ve decided we’re not hosting an event this year.  Instead, we are asking the men of the Wairarapa to take The Pledge and share using their social media to activate their networks of friends, colleagues and acquaintances by challenging them to take The Pledge and Stand Up, Speak out, and Act to prevent men’s violence towards women using the hashtags #respectfulrelationships and #standupwairarapa.

            #RespectfulRelationships     #StandUpWairarapa         

White Ribbon are asking men to ‘stand up’ by taking the online pledge and committing to take one or more actions.

The eight actions offer men choices – to listen, reflect, alter their behaviour, talk to others and disrupt negative behaviour – which build respectful behaviour that undermines violence.

Once they’ve chosen an action, they will receive an email linking them with a White Ribbon toolbox and a video with useful information on how to proceed and achieve their goal.

From the 12th of November a range of New Zealand organisations will be using their communication channels to promote the online pledge and actions to their customers and staff.

And you can too.  If your organisation chooses to Stand Up for White Ribbon and Respectful Relationships, the Violence Free Network have resources available for you to use in your workplace.  Resources include posters, tee shirts for champions, tattoos and wrist bands.  Email Ang Turipa or Jeremy Logan or call 06 377 0933.

We need good people, particularly the men of the Wairarapa to show other men what Respectful Relationships look like and to show our next generation of beautiful boys that Respect is the behaviour we use instead of violence.  Good men of Wairarapa, we know you’re out there.

Stand Up Wairarapa.

Click on the year for a quick blast from the past of our community raising awareness for White Ribbon.

White Ribbon Awareness Campaigns
2006 – White Ribbon March
2007 – White Ribbon March
2008 – Whakamoe patu, (Lay Your Arms to Rest)
2009 – White Ribbon Race
2010 – White Ribbon Ride and March
2011 – White Ribbon Relay
2012 – White Ribbon Ride and Relay
2013 – Are you man enough campaign
2014 – White Ribbon Ride and Louise Nicholas Book Signing
2015 – White Ribbon Walk a Mile in her Shoes
2016 – White Ribbon Ride and Walk a Mile in her Shoes
2017 – Men in Black Evening

What your organisation can do to support White Ribbon’s campaign to Prevent Men’s Violence Towards Women.

White Ribbon’s annual campaign promotes respectful relationships – to prevent men’s violence against women.

It’s a community effort that educates, increases awareness and builds commitment to respectful behaviour. Everyone can be involved!

Here are ten ideas on how any organisation can support White Ribbon’s respectful relationships campaign this year. This could be a business, a sports club, a school, a marae, a cultural or music group or a community organisation – anywhere people group together.

These ideas are general so they can be used by many different organisations, so think about what best suits your environment – tweaking them to your organisation will make it more effective at getting your people involved.


Take Part in the 2018 Campaign

This year we’re asking men (and everyone) to ‘stand up’ by taking the online pledge at www.whiteribbon.org.nz and committing to take one of eight actions.

The actions offer men choices – to listen, reflect, alter their behaviour, talk to others and disrupt negative behaviour – which build respectful behaviour that undermines violence.

Once they’ve chosen an action, they will receive an email linking them with a White Ribbon toolbox and a video with useful information on how to proceed and achieve their goal.

We’re asking everyone to do this from the 12th of November when we launch the campaign and then share on your social media and other communication channels The Pledge. Promotional material for sharing and promoting The Pledge can be found here.

Distribute and wear White Ribbon ribbons

Wearing white ribbons in November is the simplest way of showing support for respectful relationships and opposes violence against women. You can easily involve your people in wearing ribbons by explaining how White Ribbon’s messages fit with your organisation’s values. You can also distribute white ribbons to others your organisation encounters, such as customers or visitors.

Fabric and metal white ribbons are available from the online shop.
These along with t-shirts and posters are available now.

Display White Ribbon’s campaign messages

Each year White Ribbon develops new messages promoting respectful relationships. Posters are available for you to display where your staff or members, plus the visitors and the public can see them. They are available printed in Maori and English and for download in Japanese, Samoan, Mandarin, Pinjabi, Hindi, Fijian and Tongan. They show your organisation supports respectful relationships. T-shirts are also available for your people to wear as are flyers and other collateral.

Stand Up. This year the campaign is focusing on The Pledge and asking individuals and organisations to take the pledge online and commit to one action. The information will be provided to each person when they take The Pledge. There will also be a challenge to get other men and organisations signed up to The Pledge.

White Ribbon resources such as cloth ribbons, posters and t-shirts are available from our online shop.

Hold a White Ribbon event

Do something to draw attention to White Ribbon’s campaign and how your organisation supports respectful behaviour. This could be internal for your people, or involve your local community or customers.

Events are easy to organise, and volunteers are often keen to get involved. Something that reflects your organisation will attract interest. See our events page for examples of community events – this will get you thinking about what might suit your organisation’s event.

  • Organise a White Ribbon breakfast or morning tea
  • Have a free screening of Raise Our Men (a White Ribbon Film)
  • Invite A white Ribbon Ambassador to speak at a meeting/event
  • Support an existing White Ribbon Event like the White Ribbon Ride
  • Organise to collect valuable donations
  • And make sure you provide the audience with an opportunity to take The Pledge either online or using a form here.

Involve your people in respectful relationships

Offer individuals the opportunity to take White Ribbon’s pledge: “I will stand up, speak out and act to prevent violence towards women”. This is an effective way for people to show their commitment to respectful behaviour. The pledge can be taken here.

Also get your people talking about what respect means to them and in your organisation’s environment. This could be at a meeting or part of training. For example, discuss the White Ribbon Respectful Relationships toolbox and what these behaviours means to people in your organisation. Focus on practical examples that will make it real. This is likely to improve your social environment.

Incorporate White Ribbon messages into your communication

Each year White Ribbon produces messages promoting respectful behaviour. You can show that your organisation supports these by including them in your communication – this could be internal to your members or staff, and out to others, such as customers or suppliers. You could show you support respectful behaviour by including messages in your public advertising.

White Ribbon’s campaign office can provide graphics you can use in email signatures. And see White Ribbon’s toolboxes for messages or for more details see our key messages.

Align White Ribbon’s messages with your organisation’s values

Look at how White Ribbon’s respectful messages align with your organisation’s values or mission. There are probably many ways they can work together to promote respectful behaviour that contributes to your success. Promoting how your organisation aligns with White Ribbon will motivate your people and show your community how you support respectful relationships.

Develop your own respectful relationship messages

Think about your people and develop your own messages they’ll respond to and which promote their respectful behaviour. Get these out during November to make respect real in your environment.

For ideas on respectful behaviour see White Ribbon’s toolboxes.

Celebrate your respect champions

You’ll have people in your organisation that role model respect. Acknowledging and celebrating them is a good way to promote respectful behaviour.

If you’ve got someone who stands out for modelling respectful behaviour and how they influence others, you can nominate them to be a White Ribbon Ambassador. Ambassadors embody the principles of White Ribbon’s respectful relationships campaign. Contact White Ribbon about this.

Check your policies and practices for respect

Check that your policies and practices identify and promote the respectful behaviour you expect of your people. Tweak them if need be, so you’re doing what you can to actively promote respect in your organisation and community.

White Ribbon has a business accreditation scheme which details actions businesses can take to promote respect and prevent violence. Contact White Ribbon about this or check out the web page.


How to Take The Pledge

This year we’re asking men to ‘stand up’ by taking the online pledge and committing to take one or more actions.

The eight actions offer men choices – to listen, reflect, alter their behaviour, talk to others and disrupt negative behaviour – which build respectful behaviour that undermines violence.

Once you’ve chosen an action, you will receive an email linking you with a White Ribbon toolbox and a video with useful information on how to proceed and achieve their goal.

From the 12th of November a range of New Zealand organisations will be using their communication channels to promote the online pledge and actions to their customers and staff.

We are asking all New Zealanders to activate their networks of friends, colleagues and acquaintances. And then asking them to do the same to challenge their friends to take The Pledge and Stand Up, Speak out, and Act to prevent men’s violence towards women.

Take The Pledge from November 12th on the front page of this website, and then share your commitment online to encourage your friends, family and colleagues to Stand Up and take action.





Peyton Morete’s – ‘Little Guys

Earlier in the year 16 year old Kapiti coast teenager Peyton Morete wrote and recorded her song ‘Little Guys’ as her entry in the Champions of Kapiti song competition. A local It’s Not OK  initiative to highlight family violence/harm.

Little Guys went on to win that competition; the prize, a day at Surgery Studios with Barnaby Weir, best known from the Black Seeds and Lee Prebble, sound engineer; who has worked with the likes of Dave Dobbin.

For Peyton, working in the studio with Barnaby and Lee was very special “because it was working with people in the industry that I want to be in and I got to see a glimpse of what behind the scenes of songs are like. It gave me a lot of knowledge and was a fun day. I also enjoyed the filming because this was an experience I have never had before.”

The purpose of the Champions of Kapiti song competition was to encourage the voice of young people who have faced some tough challenges in life or know people who have and to encourage hope.

Peyton’s inspiration for Little Guys was based on having witnessed friends face some tough times. “I just wanted to write a song that lets people know that it’s ok to experience hard times but there are people out there who are going to help, who are willing to help. They may feel life is not great but they need to just keep taking one step at a time and they will eventually find happiness and people who will bring them happiness.”

Little Guys is a message to young people about not giving up. People you have trusted may have let you down, and while you may feel hopeless and worthless, you need to fight and let people in to help. You might even feel you are to blame for everything that has happened to you, but you need to believe in yourself and fight for life. You have your human rights. You certainly have your human right to be helped.

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New Law Increases Victim Safety

New family violence legislation currently passing through Parliament will give priority to the safety of victims of family violence and their children.

The Family Violence Bill is part of a suite of initiatives to improve the family violence response system so that people get help in a timely and meaningful way.

This work includes a national strategy for the prevention of family and sexual violence and a new agency to lead that work as well as a dedicated role in Government with the appointment of a Parliamentary Under Secretary to the Minister of Justice.

The new legislation improves the legislative framework for family violence and will be implemented in two phases, December 2018 and July 2019.

Phase one improves the criminal justice response by creating three new offences that will come into force this year.

Strangulation/suffocation becomes a crime with a maximum penalty of seven years’ imprisonment. Strangulation is a significant risk factor for future violence and lethality. It is used as a tactic to control a partner by showing the victim that the perpetrator has the ability to kill.

Strangulation has serious physical consequences for a victim which can show up days after the incident. Strangulation is always serious even if there are no immediate and obvious visible marks or bruises.

A new offence of Assault on a Person in a Family Relationship will complement existing offences of Male Assaults Female and Assault on a Child and better reflects the diverse nature of family violence offending. It carries a maximum penalty of two years’ imprisonment.

The third new offence of Coerced Marriage or Civil Union recognises that coercion to marry is a form of abuse and will apply to marriages or civil unions occurring in New Zealand or overseas. It carries a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment.

From December, it will be easier for victims of a family violence crime to give evidence by video recording. This is intended to help reduce the trauma of giving evidence for victims as they will only have to describe what happened once.

In other changes, the safety of the victim and family will be given priority when deciding whether or not to grant bail for a defendant charged with a family violence offence.

Phase Two

Changes coming into force in phase two relate to Protection Orders, Police Safety Orders, children’s safety and tools to support system change. Included is a modernised definition of family violence which recognises family violence as a pattern of behaviour over time, including coercive control and controlling behaviour. It also includes dowry abuse as a form of family violence.


For more information go to https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_72556/family-and-wh%C4%81nau-violence-legislation-bill