2018 White Ribbon Campaign

This year’s Respectful Relationships campaign in November will build on the recently heightened awareness of women’s experiences of men’s abuse such as sexual harassment.

The White Ribbon Trust commissioned a report to help align White Ribbon with the #MeToo movement and develop an appropriate response. You can read the report here.

The report outlined a number of recommendations and these have been accepted by the White Ribbon Advisory Committee and by the White Ribbon Campaign Trust that is responsible for White Ribbon in New Zealand. The report’s author and White Ribbon’s researcher, Garth Baker, says “Now’s the time for men to stand up and be counted. We know some men are uncertain how to act, so we are making it easy by providing that information in our online toolboxes.”

“This November, men can take the White Ribbon Pledge ‘to stand up, speak out and act to prevent violence towards women’.

To make The Pledge more action oriented, White Ribbon will be highlighting a range of actions men can take to demonstrate their commitment.

If you want to be involved in the campaign please get in contact with us here.

Recommendations that will help shape the 2018 White Ribbon Campaign

  1. White Ribbon develops the website where individuals can take The Pledge by offering them an option to commit to enacting their pledge by taking specific actions within an agreed timeframe. This emulates what White Ribbon Canada has done.
  2. White Ribbon includes the three key #MeToo actions into the list of options for men to enact the White Ribbon Pledge.
  3. White Ribbon promotes and prioritises the #MeToo three key actions in campaign media and communication.
  4. White Ribbon strengthens its current gender transformative approach by:
    1. promoting actions men can take to enact The Pledge which promote gender equity, being more flexible in gender behaviour or talking with young men about ‘breaking out of the man box’.
    2. Highlighting these actions in other campaign media and communication.
    3. Incorporating a suitable gender transformation message into the campaign’s key messages (in level one communication).
    4. Developing a short toolbox for men on how to positively respond to #MeToo with information on how to enact the three key actions and to break out of the ‘Man Box’.
    5. Developing a new toolbox to support men ‘Breaking Out of the Man Box’ and becoming more equitable and flexible in their gender behaviour.
    6. Reviewing the content of existing toolboxes to ensure they overtly promote men breaking out of the man box to be more equitable and flexible.
    7. Developing a range of information that can be used to build understanding of the links between a man’s use of violence against women, his socialisation, male social norms, and gender inequality at a structural level. This would include an explanation of the terms ‘rape culture’ and ‘toxic masculinity’ and promoting support for gender equity and flexible gender behaviour (key to the respectful behaviour White Ribbon promotes).
    8. Promoting this information to men in the 2018 campaign media and communication.
  5. White Ribbon promotes the key action of men listening and believing women when they talk of their experience of harassment or assault, or other negative behaviour by men by:
    1. Promoting ‘listening and believing’ women as a campaign key message in 2018 and promote this action in other campaign media and communication.
    2. Adding new content to the ‘Respectful Relationships’, ‘Respectful Sexual Relationships’ and ‘Start With Respect’ toolboxes that strengthens men’s listening and believing behaviour by giving clearer directions, including avoiding inappropriate responses.
    3. Including content in the new ‘Breaking Out of the Man Box’ toolbox that specifically supports men listening and believing women, as part of having respectful non-sexual relationships with women and girls.
  6. White Ribbon promotes men critically reflecting on their past behaviour towards women, apologising when possible, and actively committing to respectful behaviour in future by:
    1. Promoting ‘self-reflection and changing’ as an action for men in campaign media and communication.
    2. Adding new content to all toolboxes that promotes men reflecting on their behaviour and changing to using respectful behaviour in future. This will include being accountable by taking public responsibility for past behaviour and for making changes and seeking and responding to other’s feedback.
  7. White Ribbon strengthens its current approach of supporting men to disrupt other men’s behaviour by:
    1. Testing the effectiveness of the ‘Men Influencing Other Men’ toolbox with a group of men and revising it to ensure it is as effective as possible.
    2. Promoting this toolbox and its use to men in campaign media and communication.
  8. White Ribbon does not include a reference to #MeToo in its headline key messages, rather referencing it in second level information and media as the new environment that White Ribbon, and men, need to respond to.
  9. To develop a broader understanding and abhorrence of ‘rape culture’ by referencing and defining this term when publicly discussing the social or cultural dynamics associated with men’s sexual violence and to promote actions men can take to prevent sexual violence.
  10. To develop a broader understanding and abhorrence of ‘toxic masculinity’ by referencing and defining this term when: identifying that masculinity is a social construct and is changeable; highlighting gender inequalities or the ‘harmful effects of male behaviour on women and girls; focusing on men’s behaviour, identities and relationships; acknowledging the full diversity of masculinity identities; promoting respectful masculinity behaviour (by presenting ‘respect’ as a human quality); and not discounting male privilege.
  11. In campaign media and communication to specifically name the problem as men’s violence against women, and to continually develop wider awareness that men are responsible for violence and for preventing it.


A former gang man, turned policeman, turned social entrepreneur and White Ribbon Ambassador wants to help Kiwis in need find help. Rei Maresala has created an app to do just that – connecting people with local health and social services.

MyRivr was born out of a vision to  make access to Social Services easier for everyday New Zealanders. The app combines self-help referral functions with cutting edge technology so ordinary users can find the help they need.
Referrals are connected to the nearest Social Service Providers who meet the user’s criteria by automatically matching the ‘best fit’ and then by tracking the status of the referral. MyRivr keeps the user informed of their case file so they gain control over what is often a daunting, out of control experience.

Most recently Rei has been invited to speak in Australia and Chicago, San Diego and MYRIVR has just partnered with Samoa Airways.

For more information from the Myrivr website click here.




Domestic Violence Victims Protection Act is fully supported by White Ribbon’s Business Accreditation Scheme.  


Media Release
26 July 2018

The new Domestic Violence Victims Protection Act is fully supported by White Ribbon’s Business Accreditation Scheme.

White Ribbon congratulates the Government on passing legislation that will make a real difference for victims of family violence.

New Zealand has the highest rates of reported domestic violence in the world, and with low unemployment rates, it’s obvious that many victims will be experiencing violence while they’re working.

White Ribbon’s Workplace Accreditation Scheme has long recognised the importance of businesses supporting these staff.

“Being able to take time off is vital for people to manage their situation, such as finding a new place to live”, says White Ribbon Manager Rob McCann. “This legislation will help victims to remain in their job, which will help their income and social support”.

“Women experiencing violence are often subjected to attempts to control or coerce them into remaining in a violent household. Being able to leave requires money, so keeping their job and income is crucial to these women”.

“They also need medical or counselling assistance, or to shift children from daycare or schools where they can be in danger. This takes time during the day”.

“Two of our largest employers, the Warehouse and Countdown, already provide domestic violence leave to their affected staff. These organisations have leadership teams that understand the cost of family violence, and the benefits to their organisations from supporting their staff.” Both the Warehouse and Countdown are accredited by White Ribbon.

“Like many other countries in the western world we are now recognising that we need to do more for victims of family violence. We congratulate the government on this first step. The challenge now is to undertake further preventative measures to stop men’s violence towards women,” says Mr McCann.

For information on how your business can become White Ribbon Accredited contact@whiteribbon.org.nz

A Streetcar Named Desire

White Ribbon is proud to be collaborating with Khandallah Arts Theatre on their upcoming production of Tennessee Williams’ classic, A Streetcar Named Desire. Written in 1949 and made into a famous Hollywood movie starring Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando, it’s a well-known tragedy of delusion, culture clash, mental fragility – and domestic abuse.

No stranger to directing ‘difficult’ plays, Tanya Piejus has taken on The Diary of Anne Frank; Rabbit Hole, a story of parents dealing with the loss of their 4-year-old child; Proof, which explores the thin line between genius and insanity; and Stones in His Pockets, a dark Irish comedy centring on a young man’s suicide that has just two actors playing 23 roles.

She says, “When I first proposed the production to Khandallah Arts Theatre, it was with the intention of staging an iconic piece of American theatre that contains enduring themes, strong female characters and challenging roles for actors.

“However, the social landscape has since evolved and, in the wake of the #MeToo movement, it’s not enough to simply stage a play that contains physical and emotional violence of men against women with no apparent consequences and then to expect audiences to accept it just because the script was written 70 years ago.”Street Car Named Desire

A chance meeting between Tanya and White Ribbon Manager Rob McCann at a conference provided an opportunity to bring this modern context to the play. By partnering with the well-recognised public awareness campaign, an important message can be incorporated into the production that is missing from the script.

Tanya says, “It’s still early days and I don’t know yet how to weave the White Ribbon anti-violence messages into A Streetcar Named Desire. I’m seeking help from the local theatre community on how to do it in a way that isn’t trite or preachy for the audience. I want to be true to the spirit of Tennessee Williams’ writing, but also state clearly that we don’t condone the outcomes of the male characters’ actions.

“While the play presents a great acting challenge, its themes also present certain difficulties that I’ll be working hard to with my actors to address during the rehearsal process. I’ve already had one male actor decline to audition because he doesn’t want to play a character who attempts to sexually assault a woman.

“I think partnering with White Ribbon will go a long way towards allowing us to present a great period play in today’s world.”

A Streetcar Named Desire will be performed from 11 to 20 October at Cochran Hall, Cashmere Avenue, Khandallah. Auditions were held on Sunday 8 July. For more information of if you have ideas that you wish to contribute email Tanya at streetcarkat2018@gmail.com

Click here to book tickets


White Ribbon NZ’s Youth Ambassador Scheme


White Ribbon’s approach

White Ribbon NZ promotes respectful relationships to prevent men’s violence against women.

An effective feature of White Ribbon’s strategy is to have Ambassadors, who are respected and influential role models, promoting White Ribbon messages to their network and community.

Ambassadors play a vital role in building support, visibility and promoting White Ribbon’s messages to new groups. They can keep the White Ribbon messages alive beyond the November campaign.

Increasingly White Ribbon is targeting young men to promote respectful behaviour in their relationships with women.

White Ribbon Youth Ambassadors

Over recent years the Counties Manukau’s White Ribbon coordinating committee has had a range of campaign activities involving local young people. This has encouraged the Salvation Army to develop a local Youth Ambassador Scheme (YAS).

This initiative has real merit that other regions can develop with their local young people.

There’s a range of benefits of a YAS:

  • It develops new messengers who are credible with local young people.
  • It spreads White Ribbon’s messages to many more young people, often with a local flavour they’ll respond to.
  • It involves new people in White Ribbon’s campaign, such as college staff and, of course, local young people.


What makes a Youth Ambassador scheme effective

If your local violence prevention network is interested in establishing a local YAS you’ll benefit from considering these questions:

What do you know about local youth’s concerns about family and sexual violence? For example, were local young people involved in pushing for better sex education earlier in 2017.This is to determine young people’s support for the YAS and their receptiveness to White Ribbon respectful relationships messages.

  • What working relationships are in place now with supportive organisations, such as schools or local youth workers? This is to determine how you can efficiently connect with local youth and manage ambassador nominations.
  • How can you support youth ambassadors so they’re effective? This will help clarify how a local YAS might work and the commitment it will take from your network.
  • What benefits might a YAS give to local violence prevention work? This will help prioritise action and get you to think how a YAS can be integrated in to your local campaign.

You’ll find implementing a YAS will be easier when:

  • your network has working relationships with local colleges and youth services, who support preventing men’s violence locally.
  • local youth people are concerned about family and sexual violence and want to be involved in preventing it.
  • your network sees a YAS as worthwhile and your members are prepared and able to support youth ambassadors.
  • your YAS is integrated with other violence prevention initiatives in your community, including within colleges.

You might find it easier to build up to a YAS by starting with some youth event or activity as part of your annual White Ribbon campaign, and then finding ways to increasingly involve youth services and colleges until there’s sufficient practical support for youth ambassadors. This was how Counties Manukau developed their YAS.

White Ribbon NZ’s involvement

The national White Ribbon organisation can support your local network if you want to develop a YAS:

  • This document will help you implement a local YAS.
  • White Ribbon will continue to produce resources for young men, such as the Start With Respect
  • White Ribbon can put you in touch with other networks who’ve established a YAS.
  • The list of White Ribbon events on White Ribbon’s website (https://whiteribbon.org.nz/events/) will give ideas on the type of youth events you could run.
  • White Ribbon will provide youth ambassadors with access to the online training for all ambassadors.
  • NOTE – Like all ambassadors, any youth ambassadors will need to be vetted by their schools with a letter recommending nomination from the school. This process is not intended to be as intensive as an adult ambassador check which can be found at (https://whiteribbon.org.nz/act/ambassadors/).
  • Youth Ambassadorships conclude when the students leaves school.

Possible Process:

  • Draft up your YAS plan (using information from this document and other agencies)
  • Collate a list of all local schools and email the principal outlining the YAS
  • Ring each school to acquire the email address of counsellors and social workers
  • Organise school visits to drop off hard copies of programme to reception
    • Schools are very busy, so relationships with schools are very important. Multiple contacts are necessary and clear communications vital. Personal relationships go a long way.
  • Organise a training day
    • Organise a range of workshops with Ambassadors, social workers, police, lawyers, White Ribbon Riders.
    • Use the White Ribbon Toolboxes to lead discussions.
    • The purpose of the training day is to educate students while at the same time giving them a space where they can ask questions and take the learnings back into their school, sports and extra-curricular activities and circle of friends.
    • The day will also allow the youth ambassadors to get to know each other.
    • Ensure the students receive a pack of information, resources and appropriate White Ribbon badges.
  • The Youth Ambassadors will promote throughout their schools, the WR message (speaking at assemblies, lunch time discussion groups).
  • The Youth Ambassador with the support of the coordinators will plan and execute an event of their choosing at the school (mufti day, presentation, competitions).
  • The Youth Ambassadors will also commit where possible to help with other local WR events.
  • Each Youth Ambassador will get a pack with all relevant information, t-shirt, white ribbons and other promotional material.
  • Each Youth Ambassador will receive a badge with Ambassador on it.
  • Create a closed Facebook group for support and to share information.


Potential Training Day Activities:

  • 09:00   Students will arrive, register and receive packs
  • 09:15   Coordinators will welcome and give a brief overview of White Ribbon and the Ambassadors’ Programme
  • 09:30   Youth workers will run some ABL to get the group familiar with each other
  • 09:45   First workshop with questions to follow (White Ribbon Ambassador)
  • 10:45   Morning tea
  • 11:05   Second workshop with questions (Police/Lawyer)
  • 12:00   Recap (morning workshops)
  • 12:15   Lunch
  • 12:55   White Ribbon Riders’ presentation
  • 13:20   Third workshop with questions (Social Worker)
  • 13:55   Fourth session (Youth Ambassadors to brainstorm some potential projects)
  • 14:25   Final wrap up
  • 14:30   Students head back to school

Local Youth Activities:


High School Breakfast:  The South Auckland Breakfast has been running for six years. All schools in South Auckland are invited to send 4 four students to a breakfast where the WR messages are highlighted along with leadership role students can play to end the violence. It is held the Friday before the 25 November.

At each breakfast a survey of participants helps us to shape the following year’s activities. For example, the students said they wanted more workshop style sessions during the breakfast instead of keynote speakers. Table workshops were implemented where the students would rotate every 15 minutes. The tables were made up of Police, WR Ambassadors, WR Bike Riders, Lawyers and Social Workers. We got good feedback from this and will run this same set up again next year. The survey also demonstrates that the organisers are listening to the views of the students.

WR Poster comp

Spoken Word: The Spoken Word competition was created to give young people a voice where their thoughts on family harm and violence against women could be heard. This event has produced some amazing spoken word pieces with some going viral through Facebook. The Spoken Word is open to all high school aged young people, and has a maximum of three entries per school. This event has been widened to include song writing. Previous winners have been asked to perform at conferences and events which continue to spread the positive messages about violence prevention.

Yeah na

Yeah Nah Song Competition: The Eastern Bay of Plenty Family Safety Events Committee has held this competition for seven years now and it continues to engage youth, remaining fresh and vibrant. A project plan has been developed which includes terms and conditions, registration forms, media, Facebook and Youtube permissions. Like the spoken word competition, this event enables youth to hear their concerns about family violence reflected in a performance medium that is relevant to young people. For more how-to information contact White Ribbon.

Yeah Na poster


Breaking silence and records: Conquering New Zealand for domestic violence survivors

50 ultra marathons in 50 days – that’s what one woman is about to embark on to open the dialogue and change the story around domestic violence.

On January 18th, Finnish researcher Emilia Lahti will begin a 2,400-kilometer ultra-run from Bluff all the way to Cape Reinga, to highlight the strength of individuals who’ve experienced emotional, physical or sexual hurt. Her run, if completed, will break a world record for the most consecutive ultra-runs run by a woman.

Along her route, Lahti will be stopping off in 15 Kiwi towns to open the conversation and encourage story sharing about this all too common reality.

Domestic violence is one of the most pervasive yet under-recognised human rights issues in the world, affecting hundreds of millions of individuals across the globe each year from every social class, income group, race and culture.

It is common knowledge that New Zealand has the worst rate of domestic violence in the world – a shocking statistic that was one part of the reason Lahti chose New Zealand to undergo this epic challenge.Sisu Not Silence

As an overcomer of domestic violence herself, Lahti found it hard to understand why people held other survival stories in such high esteem, but not those that have survived violence at the hands of an intimate partner.

“It frustrated me that the narrative was why did you stay? Rather than why did someone do this to you?” she explains.

“I wondered why there was no space for a mature, open conversation around interpersonal violence and why overcomers felt such shame – it just shouldn’t be the case.”

In the aftermath of her own trauma, Lahti quit her job and embarked on a PhD in applied psychology at the Aalto University in Helsinki, centering on the concept of ‘Sisu’. Sisu is an ancient Finish construct denoting courage and determination in the face of adversity.

It was then that she founded the global project and not-for-profit Sisu Not Silence which aims to generate a global-scale cultural shift that removes the stigma and shame imposed on individuals who have experienced interpersonal violence and hurt.

“Much like running a thousand miles, healing from past trauma and impacting social change are also trials of endurance that begin by taking one step at a time,” says Lahti.

“Choosing sisu over silence is about creating a world where communities hold compassion and justice in high value and take collective responsibility to build futures that allow people everywhere live free from fear – including the place that should be the heart of all safety: our homes. The issue of violence is global, but when we join our hands and hearts, we can make a change,” says Lahti.

Sisu Not Silence is looking to serve and work with communities. Nonprofits and organisations working in nonviolence and social impact are encouraged to connect with Lahti and her team to inquire about an event.

The schedule:
Queenstown – 21st Jan
Wanaka – 23rd Jan
Hokitika – 31st Jan
Westport – 3rd Feb
Nelson – 7th Feb
Palmerston North/Massey Uni – 11th Feb
Whanganui – 13th Feb
Taupo – 17th Feb
Hamilton – 21st Feb
Kaitaia – 26th Feb
Whangarei – 2nd March
Auckland – 10th March

For more information and media enquiries:
Amanda Vaisigano
027 375 5542
Social media hashtags: #sisunotsilence #overcomers
Website: sisunotsilence.com
Fundraiser: bit.ly/sisunotsilence
Instagram: instagram.com/sisu_lab
Facebook Global: facebook.com/sisunotsilence
Twitter: twitter.com/EmiliaLahti
Blogs: sisulab.com and medium.com/@EmiliaLahti

Video 1 – Sisu not Silence Ultra Run:
Video 2 – Upworthy:
Video 3Mini documentary:

Police Commissioners White Ribbon Breakfast 2017

The Police Commissioner, and White Ribbon Ambassador Mike Bush, hosted the annual NZ Police White Ribbon Breakfast at Police National Headquarters, Wellington on the 24th November.  The senior police executive, guests, and heads of other agencies attended, with about 50 people in place for the 7am start.

Mike Bush spoke very clearly on his own personal commitment to White Ribbon and detailed a number of police activities.  He spoke of the Accreditation programme and referred to NZDF and Billy Graham Youth Foundation – both of whom were present.  He made the point that business houses, and especially government agencies, had to ensure that they had safe work conditions for their staff, and sound and well balanced policies.

He closed by showing a short video song by Tina Cross where NZ Police had joined with It’s Not OK and Tina, to produce a powerful non violence song.



Police Minister Stuart Nash spoke and affirmed the governments commitment to reducing family harm in all it’s forms.  He was especially focused on the prevention of crime and reducing the number of people in prison.  His very well delivered address was a positive affirmation of the government commitment to reducing family violence.

Leslie Elliot spoke passionately of the Loves Me Not campaign and emphasised that this was now operating in over 100 secondary schools.  She also spoke of her commitment to White Ribbon as a key part of her message to teenagers, and especially teenage women. The Commissioner thanked Lesley for her commitment and passion.

A family violence survivor and now an advocate, Toni Katu, brought the discussions to a close with a heart rending story of her own survival from family harm, in a powerful and passionate address, which really struck home.

The White Ribbon messages were clearly displayed throughout and the Commissioner referred to the on going work – “365 days a year by White Ribbon and not just on this one day.”





Rob McCann – Campaign Manager on the 2017 campaign and Sky TV

Anti-domestic violence campaign White Ribbon has labelled Sky TV “tone deaf” for hiring Tony Veitch only days ahead of a national awareness day.

Campaign manager Rob McCann told The AM Show Veitch, who was convicted of injuring his former girlfriend Kristin Dunne with reckless disregard in 2009, wouldn’t have faced backlash if he showed remorse.

To watch the video, click on the image.

Mark Longley – My advice to Tony Veitch

OPINION: Tony Veitch, back in the spotlight again – not for what he would have hoped for, but because of what he did to Kristin Dunne.

The sports commentator, stupidly in my opinion, let it be known he is returning to TV on a Sky Sports show. You would have thought Sky has enough troubles without employing Veitch, who brings with him an avalanche of social media abuse every time he makes announcements like these. It looks like Sky has now come to its senses with the announcement it is “working on a new line-up”.

Veitch, in his own words, has suffered since that night some 11 years ago when he kicked his partner Kristin Dunne so hard in the back it fractured. That is no mean feat, the force needed to crack a bone is substantial and not done easily.

Veitch, who publicly said his actions shamed his family, must be wondering if New Zealand will ever move on from the horrific abuse he subjected Kristin to and let him get on with his career.

Well we will Tony, and that time is when you stand up and take responsibility for what you did to Kristin. Apologise to her for the damage you caused both her and her family’s life. I know Kristin, not well, but our paths have crossed and she is a remarkable woman who has moved on from this. It’s you who seems unable to progress through it.

What you did, according to her statement to police, was kick in her in the back so hard you fractured it. Then you denied responsibility, allegedly claiming she fell down the stairs. You then paid her off to keep quiet and, although your career was hit, you basically got away with it.

A couple of years ago, when the Herald ran a series about domestic violence called We’re Better Than This, you issued a clumsy apology for what you did, which again set off an avalanche of abuse on social media.

The problem was it was an apology, just not to Kristin and her family, but to your family and the people in your life who had been affected.

You opened the statement by saying you were a man you could not control. You made a huge mistake, a grave misjudgement and you were truly sorry.

Here is the issue Tony, and let me preface this by why I have some opinion on the matter. Six years ago the partner of my daughter Emily Longley went one step further than you and murdered her.

He was in a rage and told the trial when he was convicted, she had driven him to it. She had made him angry and he had reacted. That he too had made a grave error of judgement.

His name is Elliot Turner and even his mother Anita, in the stand, blamed my daughter for what had happened. Her murder came after a short, but sustained period of verbal, then violent abuse for which Turner never once accepted responsibility. It was, according to him, all Emily’s fault.

I am sure Elliot Turner, as he lies in a cell contemplating what happened to him, still believes he has been hard done by and that Emily was to blame. I am not holding out much hope for an apology.

One of the most common reasons a violent partner or parent gives is “they made me do it.” “If she hadn’t of made me so angry I wouldn’t have lost my temper.”

The blame is put fairly and squarely on the shoulders of the victim, the woman, who is by now probably beaten into submission and believes it is her fault.

This is an attitude in New Zealand – with our appalling family violence statistics – that needs to change. Losing your temper and being violent is a choice, not an excuse.

It is not an excuse to hit a woman, child or anyone. Neither is being stressed or overworked as you alluded to.

Don’t blame circumstances and don’t paint the assault as a one-off event, own up to the fact you, like many men in New Zealand, had a problem.

That is what is needed Tony, a full and frank confession and evidence you are truly sorry for what you did to Kristin and her family.

I am involved with an organisation called White Ribbon now and part of our message is to get men to take accountability for their actions, get help and change their behaviour. Part of that process is owning up to the fact they have a problem and seeking redemption from those they have been violent to. I am going to repeat that point because it is important, it is about owning up to the fact they have a problem, not the woman, not the child, but the man.

You want redemption, you want to be able to rebuild your career and you want people to move on, well then atone for what you did.

As a father who lost a daughter to violence, what you did to Kristin is horrifying, but even more so I condemn you for not taking the opportunity to set an example to all violent men. Own up to what you really did and ask for the forgiveness of Kristin and her family, not the people of New Zealand.

Mark Longley is the managing editor of Newshub digital and a trustee of White Ribbon. 

Something for everyone in this year’s White Ribbon Day celebrations

There is literally something for everyone in this year’s White Ribbon Day celebrations.

From the main centres to the small towns, organisations throughout the country have arranged fantastic events to highlight the issue of violence against women and focus attention on the importance of talking to our children about respectful relationships and issues of consent.

In Auckland you can start the day at the White Ribbon March (We Stand Because We Care) from Lower Queen Street to Meyers Park. White Ribbon has withdrawn our support for the event and you can read why here). There will still be many supporters of the kaupapa present.

Or if you prefer to hunt for a bargain, try the Counties Manukau White Ribbon Day Flea Market event in the Mangere Town Square from 9am to 12:30pm. There will be entertainment, agencies information stalls, spot prizes and another group of White Ribbon Riders. It is sure to be an informative and fun filled day for the family.

Then head along to Sirens and Sounds Safety and Careers Festival in Eastdale Reserve in Avondale from 11am to 4pm, where emergency services have organised a community day, which supports White Ribbon.

Or if you are in Rodney, come along to the Orewa Santa Parade with partner agency Abuse Prevention Services from 2-3pm.

In Glen Eden from 5pm, join Raukura Aio “Building Respectful Relationships” at Hoani Waititi Marae for their annual open “mic” event with motivational speakers, entertainment, panel discussion and light refreshments.

In Hamilton, check out the Touch Competition at Fairfield Park from 9am – 3pm. The White Ribbon campaign will combine with one of New Zealand’s most popular community sports at this family friendly event. The touch tournament will include speakers and music between matches, with 12 teams competing.

Further south Porirua takes the lead organising a host of White Ribbon events for their community starting with Zonta Says NO” – White Ribbon Promotion by Zonta Club of Mana at Marina Espresso from 10 am to noon.

The White Ribbon Ride is one of the most exciting initiatives tackling this country’s crippling domestic violence record. This week-long motorcycle tour happens every November as the riders spread the anti-violence message to school and community groups throughout New Zealand. The Billy Graham Youth Foundation is hosting a visit from the White Ribbon Riders at their Cannons Creek Boxing Academy. The Foundation has recently undertaken the new White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation programme.

In Christchurch, head along to the Countdown on Church Corner opposite Bush Inn Mall where Amnesty International are operating a supermarket stall distributing white ribbons and collecting donations for Aviva (Christchurch’s family violence prevention service).

Later in the day join the White Ribbon Riders as they share their stories and talk about the White Ribbon kaupapa at the Phillipstown Community Gala from noon to 3pm.

The smaller centres are also well served with White Ribbon events. Throughout the Waikato you can purchase bunches of White Roses to show your support for White Ribbon with florists contributing on a much-needed donation to Women’s Refuge.

If you enjoy a more active event, try the White Ribbon Around the Mountain Ride in Waitara, If you would like to be part of the ride, head down to Waitara Tavern for a 10:30am start. The entry fee is $5 which covers the cost of receiving a White Ribbon.

In Kaikoura head down to the Treasure Hunt – Our Amazing Place. This amazing race-style community treasure hunt has been organised by Te Hao Matauranga Learning to raise funds for White Ribbon Day. It starts 9:30am at the Village Green.

For more information on these events and the many others in towns and cities near you please visit https://whiteribbon.org.nz/events/

At 10:40pm on Maori Television the White Ribbon film Raise Our Men will be shown without advertising and it will be rescreened again on the 27th at 8.30 pm. The film will also be available online for free www.whiteribbon.org.nz

You can also take the pledge online and commit to standing up, speaking out and acting to prevent violence against women.

Throughout the year make use of the White Ribbon Toolboxes that provide practical resources to help diminish and hopefully one day end the violence in our society. If fathers and other significant figures in boys’ lives commit to talking to them about respectful relationships and issues of consent we will be able to counter negative messaging they receive from other sources and give them the guidance they need to have happy and fulfilling relationships based on mutual respect.