Hamilton City Council receives White Ribbon Accreditation

Hamilton City Council has formalised its commitment to preventing family violence in New Zealand.

Last month, the Council was awarded White Ribbon Accreditation to acknowledge its continued support of the White Ribbon kaupapa. To gain the business accreditation, the Council must have policies in place, trained staff and support proactive violence prevention.

Chief Executive Richard Briggs says this is great recognition of the Council’s ongoing commitment to the campaign.

“We’ve been supporting White Ribbon projects and have had support in place for our people for years. This is another great step up in our commitment as an employer and as an important part of our community.”

Along with the accreditation, the Council has two White Ribbon Ambassadors whose role is to influence and support the White Ribbon kaupapa.

“We need strong men who are willing to start a tough conversation about how we have respectful relationships with women and our behaviour towards them,” says Mr Briggs.

“We spend so much of our lives working, it almost becomes a second home. Whether you’re at work for 20 or 40 hours per week during that time you should feel safe and supported.”

White Ribbon Day (25 November) is the international day when people wear a white ribbon to show they won’t tolerate or condone violence towards women.

On Friday 29 November, a White Ribbon hikoi (walk) will begin at 11am from Meteor Theatre and finish in Garden Place where there will be live entertainment until 1pm.

This year’s theme is to challenge the Unspoken Rules. Unspoken Rules are the expectations boys and young men inherit from society, based on outdated ideas of what a man is, how he acts, and how he should express himself.

Hamilton City Council is now New Zealand’s largest council to receive White Ribbon Accreditation. Upper Hutt City Council, Carterton District Council and Napier City Council are also White Ribbon Accredited.

E Tū Te Awakairangi White Ribbon Breakfast

Throughout November organisations across New Zealand created fantastic opportunities for communities to gather together and work to challenge attitudes and behaviours that support violence and instead encourage respectful relationships and healthy masculinity. Over the next few months we would like to focus on some of these amazing events.

E Tū Te Awakairangi, which includes White Ribbon Ambassador Hine Sullivan, City Safety Manager at Hutt City Council, organized a White Ribbon Breakfast at the Walter Nash Stadium in Lower Hutt on Friday 22 November attracting over 70 members of the local community.  There was a great mix of young and old in attendance and the three guest speakers spoke on various topics relating to the White Ribbon kaupapa and Family Harm.

White Ribbon Ambassador Mele Wendt shared her very personal and candid story about her husband Ete’s offending and their combined effort to address this. Their commitment to each other and their whanau has seen an amazing change in Ete. Ete is no longer violent, he is also a White Ribbon Ambassador and together they share their story, with the hope that it will change other people’s lives and stop Family Violence.

Deb Robinson, spoke about her experience working in Women’s Refuge, her passion for Social Justice, and her role as the Family Violence Coordinator for Ahuru Mowai o Te Awakairangi.

Charlotte Lawrence, Deputy Chair of Hutt City Council’s Youth Council, recipient of the 2019 Hutt City Youth Award for Service to the community and second prize winner at the White Ribbon Spoken Word competition, had the entire audience captivated.  Her original White Ribbon Spoken Word speech, which was modified to include Respectful Relationships and Challenge #UNSPOKEN Rules, was pitched perfectly for the entire audience.

A number of the school students who attended stated that her speech was amazing, and they related to what she was saying, especially in relation to the #Unspoken Rules. These students have heard the examples Charlotte referred to on a regular basis: “Only girls cry”, “Harden up!” “Don’t be a girl”, and they have either been victims or responsible for making these comments.  Charlotte’s speech has reminded them that this is not acceptable and they will challenge people who make comments such as these in the future.

The schools who attended and provided entertainment, Pomare School, Avalon Intermediate and Taita College were fantastic.  Despite some understandable nerves, they performed beautifully.  They chose a combination of songs to support the kaupapa, including Maori songs.

The other person who made this event a great success was the MC Cameron Kapua-Morell from Upper Hutt City Council.  His energy and obvious passion for the White Ribbon kaupapa, kept the audience engaged and he uplifted the students when they required support.  The way Cameron blended the guests, speakers and students provided a very well rounded, entertaining and successful event.

A number of community leaders were present, including Mayor Campbell Barry, who opened the event, Deputy Mayor Tui Lewis, Councillors, community group leaders and White Ribbon Ambassadors.

White Ribbon is extremely grateful to E Tù Te Awakairangi for organizing this fantastic event to spread the kaupapa and build greater community connections in their ongoing efforts to prevent violence. If you were involved in a great community event we would love to hear about it and profile it in future newsletters. Please write to us at contact@whiteribbon.org.nz to share your stories and photos.

Crystal’s death must mean something

Media Release
02 December 2019
Crystal’s death must mean something
Crystal Selwyn was the victim of family violence and White Ribbon acknowledges the terrible hurt and pain that Crystal’s family and friends must now cope with.
Crystal died on 23rd November, just days before 25 November, White Ribbon Day, the international day when we focus on the elimination of men’s violence towards women.
“At the request of the family we have provided white ribbons for the funeral held today,” said Rob McCann, White Ribbon Manager. “We have also posted the Give A Little page ‘Koha for Crystal Selwyn‘ on our Facebook page.”
“Family Violence affects more than just the one person. The whole family will feel the effects of this tragedy for a lifetime and eight children will grow up without a mother,” said Mr McCann.
“These deaths must stop, and they can if we challenge the attitudes that support violence.”
“Too many New Zealanders think that violence towards women is the result of someone losing their temper. It is not. Violence is a tool used in relationships to control the other person, and too often it is learned behaviour. If we tell our young men not to cry or to toughen up, we are creating young men that do not know how to express their emotions or have Respectful Relationships.”
“If we want to honour the memory of the 17 women killed this year then we need to break the cycle of violence. We need to teach our young men skills that equip them to have Respectful Relationships, and we need to talk about Respectful Sexual Relationships, and not leave pornography to be our children’s primary educator. We need to stand up and intervene when we witness or hear behaviour that is harmful or derogatory to women, and we need to stop victim blaming,” said Mr McCann.
White Ribbon offers free tools on its website to help people undertake all these actions.

Cup of tea video https://whiteribbon.org.nz/2015/07/12/consent-explained-with-a-cup-of-tea/
provided by Rockstar Dinosaur Pirate Princess who wrote the script.

Actions we can take to reduce violence – Eight videos
https://vimeo.com/showcase/5537622

Talk with young men about respectful relationships and porn – video
https://vimeo.com/299375746

From the White Ribbon Toolbox – Raising Boys who respect
https://whiteribbon.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Toolbox-Raising-Boys-Who-Respect-White-Ribbon.pdf

White Ribbon Riders Welcomed onto Parliament’s Forecourt

At the conclusion of this year’s White Ribbon Ride, about 20 Riders joined White Ribbon on Parliament’s forecourt to highlight the serious challenges we face as a nation in tackling our woeful domestic violence statistics and share the solutions they have been presenting to schools and communities around New Zealand.

Chief Ombudsman Judge Peter Boshier, Deputy Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha and head of the New Zealand Defence Force Air Marshal Kevin Short stood alongside the White Ribbon Riders to encourage men to express emotions to try and curb New Zealand’s high rate of domestic violence.

Chair of the White Ribbon Campaign Trust and Lower North Island Ride Leader Takurua Tawera noted that we need to ensure men know it is ok to be sad or angry we just need to know how to manage those feelings. It is that issue that was at the heart of this year’s campaign, which focused on challenging the unspoken rules, outdated stereotypes of masculinity that push boys and men to bottle up their emotions as they have been told that they should “harden up” and that “boys don’t cry”. It is so important to be able to express our emotions and process them in a healthy way, so that we can enjoy positive respectful relationships. We need to change how we talk to boys and re-evaluate the messages we received in our youth to ensure we don’t perpetuate these negative stereotypes about what it is to be a man.

Representing the New Zealand Police Mr Haumaha commented “It is a sad indictment that we have to turn up to family harm incidents every four minutes. It is a sad indictment that every one in three women across the country will experience some form of family harm in the course of their lives. It is a sad indictment that 14 women are killed each year as a result of partner abuse.”

Winner of the White Ribbon Spoken Word Competition for High School students Hannah Dorey performed her heartfelt poem drawing parallels between the experience of drowning and an abusive relationship. Her moving performance was described by Air Marshal Short as a “powerful reminder of the pain family violence causes” and he urged all those present to work together to deal with the problem.

Judge Boshier thanked the Riders for spreading the message in such “a clear, unequivocal way.”

 

Respectfully I Decline

Hannah is a gifted young writer who wrote and performed the winning entry in the recent White Ribbon Poetry Slam competition.

A 16 year-old at St Mary’s College, Hannah says she really enjoys writing and performing.

“I’ve been writing poetry for six years and I am also working on writing three novels which feature the difficult themes of mental health struggles for teenagers.”

Hannah says she was encouraged to take part in the Poetry Slam by her English teacher.

“I went to a White Ribbon Youth Ambassador course. My teacher knew I was into poetry and she suggested I enter. I really like the performance part as its important in using facial expressions and emphasis on the right phrases to get the audience involved in the intention of the poem,” says Hannah.

Hannah’s entry ‘Respectfully’ focused on using an unhealthy relationship and dedicating the poem to ‘respectfully declining’ it. She says the poem builds up to the strength of being able to walk away from the relationship.

“The reasoning behind choosing this approach is that I believe it is still important to address the audience that are unaware of the unhealthy relationship they are in.”

Hannah says this is something she has experienced and something many others have as well and it is typical in abusive relationships.

“I wanted my words to be relevant to personal experience that people can relate to and I was really pleased with the reaction.”

The judges were very impressed with Hannah’s work, awarding her the $500 prize and a Weta Workshop Hoodie.

“I love the hoodie,” says Hannah. “Back at school there was an awesome reaction to the White Ribbon Poetry Slam and everyone was super proud.”

 

 

Following the Grace Millane trial, what can we do?

White Ribbon acknowledges the unimaginable hurt and pain the Millane family has suffered, and will continue to endure following the guilty verdict handed down today.

“While one person that has caused so much harm is behind bars, this trial must do something to prevent violence towards women,” says Rob McCann, White Ribbon Manager.

Following the verdict we must take action to prevent violence. That means taking real steps such as talking about consent, disrupting other men’s violence or talking about respectful sexual relationships and pornography. Doing nothing is one option that is not open to the country with the highest rate of reported violence towards women.”

“As a father, I am grateful the jury were able to understand the issue of consent. In my experience there are far too many people that do not understand the concept and the need for consent to be ongoing and active.”

“White Ribbon explains the concept using what is called the ‘cup of tea video’. In the video the act of sex is replaced with having a cup of tea. The video explains you can’t force a person to drink tea, people can change their mind about drinking tea, and if they fall unconscious they can’t be forced to drink the tea.”

“This is a really simple and effective way of teaching consent,” says Mr McCann.

“We also need to acknowledge that a perpetrator’s attitudes and behaviour will be known to their mates. Poor behaviour does not come from a vacuum and it is incumbent on all of us to call out bad behaviour when we see it. It might start off as disrespectful jokes about women while you are in a bar. That might not initially seem harmful, but the reality is that by saying nothing, you are actually sending the signal that the disrespectful behaviour is ok and all too often that behaviour escalates.”

“We are asking the public to intervene and disrupt other men’s violence.  This is commonly called bystander intervention.”

White Ribbon produced a video about how to help by disrupting other men’s violence. You can watch the video here.

The third thing White Ribbon is suggesting is that we talk about pornography with our young men and women.

“Pornography is becoming more violent and more readily accessible,” says Mr McCann. “We believe it is changing the attitudes and behaviour of our young men and women. If our young men mimic pornography, then they treat women as conquests rather than human beings. This behaviour might be seen by some as manly, but ultimately, it’s unhealthy and bad for both men and women.”

White Ribbon recommends you be clear with your children – tell them that porn isn’t real. That it doesn’t show any real relationships, and the sex is often degrading, violent or disrespectful to women. We recommend that you talk about what respectful sexual behaviour looks like – and how you won’t see it in most porn. White Ribbon has produced a video about talking with young men about respectful relationships and porn.

 

 

Additional notes:

Rape Culture
Refers to when society normalises sexualised violence. By doing that we accept and create rape culture.

Rape culture includes jokes, TV, music, advertising, legal jargon, laws, words and imagery, that make violence against women and sexual coercion seem so normal that people believe that rape is inevitable. Rather than viewing the culture of rape as a problem to change, people in a rape culture think about the persistence of rape as “just the way things are.”

White Ribbon focuses on changing men’s social norms to undermine their support of sexual violence. Having men break out of the Man Box prevents a ‘rape culture’ from developing.

Examples of Rape Culture

  • Blaming the victim (“She asked for it!”)
  • Trivialising sexual assault (“Boys will be boys!”)
  • Sexually explicit jokes
  • Tolerance of sexual harassment
  • Inflating false rape report statistics
  • Publicly scrutinizing a victim’s dress, mental state, motives, and history
  • Gratuitous gendered violence in movies and television
  • Defining “manhood” as dominant and sexually aggressive
  • Defining “womanhood” as submissive and sexually passive
  • Pressure on men to “score”
  • Pressure on women to not appear “cold”
  • Assuming only promiscuous women get raped
  • Assuming that men don’t get raped or that only “weak” men get raped
  • Refusing to take rape accusations seriously
  • Teaching women to avoid getting raped

 

Bystander Intervention

If you hear someone say something disrespectful or display unhealthy behaviours such as harassing women, telling inappropriate jokes, picking a fight, etc., there are a few things you can do to challenge the language or behaviour. By doing nothing we are effectively condoning the behaviour. You can use one or more of the 4Ds;

  • be Direct – challenge them verbally ‘that’s not cool, bro’
  • Distract – get them to do something else, or ask a question of the person who is on the receiving end of the unhealthy behaviour to engage them in conversation (useful if you don’t feel safe being direct)
  • Delegate – talk to someone else about what is going on. Ask their friend/parent/workmate/boss what they think of the behaviour and if there is anything they can do to address it. Work together to see what you could do.
  • Delay – it might not always feel safe to intervene or challenge at the time, depending on the situation, so you can ask them later about whether they realised their behaviour was harmful, or ask the person who might have been on the receiving end how they are.
    (Adapted from – https://www.ihollaback.org/resources/bystander-resources/)
  • Watch and talk to others about this resource – Who Are You? (for older teenagers) https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=iUj2OHLAG3w

Get support for yourself

 

The need to educate your young men and women

When it comes to issues such as pornography and sexual relationships, adults need to have conversations about respectful sexual relationships and consent with our young men and women. By keeping silent (whether through embarrassment or a lack of knowledge or fear) we are allowing third parties such as pornography, media, or their mates to educate our youth. The information they receive can be harmful and often does not ensure they know what they are seeing is NOT real. Many young men are presenting with issues such as erectile dysfunction because the porn they are watching is so violent or extreme and real life does not create the same excitement. Young women are presenting with incontinence issues due to the extreme sex they think they need to participate in. There are also real issues with the increase in violence within porn with physical hitting, strangulation and treating women as receptacles for men’s pleasure. The key issue is that we have to have these conversations. White Ribbon provides information in the Toolbox Section – Respectful Sexual Relationships and Start with Respect at https://whiteribbon.org.nz/toolbox/ (this includes ages and stages information), a video on talking about sexual relationships and pornography with young men https://vimeo.com/299375746. You can also use the Cup of Tea Video to talk about the issue of Consent https://whiteribbon.org.nz/?s=cup+of+tea

All these resources are freely available.

 

What causes the violence

Violence is not about people losing control. Intimate partner violence is about power and control. Violence is a tool used to keep control in a relationship.
It is rigid ideas about gender and gender roles that contribute to men’s use of violence against females.
Even with 80% of family and intimate-partner violence incidents going unreported, New Zealand still has the worst rate for this violence in the world. Our country also has the third highest rate of sexual assault in the world. This indicates that too many New Zealand men still express their masculinity through dominance and power over women.

 

Specific links between masculinity and violence are:

  • Where a culture expects masculinity to involve dominance and toughness there is male violence against females.
  • If an individual man over-conforms to perceived male gender expectations of strength, power and domination, he is more likely to rape women.
  • There’s more sexual violence where men and women have segregated lives, a belief in male sexual conquest, strong male bonding, high alcohol consumption, use of pornography, and sexist social norms.
  • Sexual violence serving as a tool for men and boys to prove their manhood, achieve the social status of a “real man,” and establish power over others.
  • When men believe that they are not – or are not perceived to be – “masculine enough,” they may use intimate partner violence to overcompensate or conform with gendered expectations.

White Ribbon believes young men can be socialised into having unhealthy attitudes and behaviours. This occurs through the media we watch, society’s expectations and the #UnspokenRules that surround us. Our November Campaign focuses on Challenging the #UnspokenRules such as Boys Don’t Cry, Toughen Up and Be the Man.

These #unspoken rules put pressure on boys and young men to behave in certain ways and dismiss “unmanly” behaviour, leading them to suppress their emotions and their individuality. This affects how our boys and young men feel about themselves, and how they treat others. It affects how they approach their relationships, and can lead them to act disrespectfully – even violently – toward their partners.

We have the opportunity to use our voices as parents, caregivers and influencers to speak up over the #unspoken. By saying out loud to our boys and young men that it’s ok for them to be who they are, we can encourage them to define themselves as men who have respectful relationships – protecting our whole community.

 

The campaign will focus on undermining these unhelpful #unspoken rules, and promoting healthy masculinity (and Respectful Relationships) as an alternative.

  • Healthy masculinity is rejecting unhelpful stereotypes and #unspoken rules about what it is to be a boy or man.
  • Healthy masculinity is about being kind, empathetic, finding peaceful resolutions to problems.
  • Healthy masculinity is about boys and men being confident in who they are without feeling pressure to be a certain type of boy/man.
  • Boys and men can still be ‘brave’, ‘have muscles’, assertive, tough, love rugby, enjoy time with other men and boys, enjoy a ‘pint’ with the lads. But boys and men should also be free to express sad emotions, enjoy cooking, dancing, gardening and anything else that does not fit into gender stereotypes.
  • Healthy masculinity is treating everyone with respect and having Respectful Relationships (which always include consent).
  • Healthy masculinity is recognising that people express gender and sexuality in a variety of ways.

 

White Ribbon promotes respectful relationships to prevent domestic and sexual violence against women. 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 breaking 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.

Following the Grace Millane trial, what can we do?

White Ribbon Media Release
22 November 2019

 

Following the Grace Millane trial, what can we do?

White Ribbon acknowledges the unimaginable hurt and pain the Millane family has suffered, and will continue to endure following the guilty verdict handed down today.

“While one person that has caused so much harm is behind bars, this trial must do something to prevent violence towards women,” says Rob McCann, White Ribbon Manager.

“As a father, I am grateful the jury were able to understand the issue of consent. In my experience there are far too many people that do not understand the concept and the need for consent to be ongoing and active.”

“White Ribbon explains the concept using what is called the ‘cup of tea video’. In the video the act of sex is replaced with having a cup of tea. The video explains you can’t force a person to drink tea, people can change their mind about drinking tea, and if they fall unconscious they can’t be forced to drink the tea.”

“This is a really simple and effective way of teaching consent,” says Mr McCann.

“We also need to acknowledge that a perpetrator’s attitudes and behaviour will be known to their mates. Poor behaviour does not come from a vacuum and it is incumbent on all of us to call out bad behaviour when we see it. It might start off as disrespectful jokes about women while you are in a bar. That might not initially seem harmful, but the reality is that by saying nothing, you are actually sending the signal that the disrespectful behaviour is ok and all too often that behaviour escalates.”

“We are asking the public to intervene and disrupt other men’s violence.  This is commonly called bystander intervention.”

White Ribbon produced a video about how to help by disrupting other men’s violence. You can watch the video here.

The third thing White Ribbon is suggesting is that we talk about pornography with our young men and women.

“Pornography is becoming more violent and more readily accessible,” says Mr McCann. “We believe it is changing the attitudes and behaviour of our young men and women. If our young men mimic pornography, then they treat women as conquests rather than human beings. This behaviour might be seen by some as manly, but ultimately, it’s unhealthy and bad for both men and women.”

White Ribbon recommends you be clear with your children – tell them that porn isn’t real. That it doesn’t show any real relationships, and the sex is often degrading, violent or disrespectful to women. We recommend that you talk about what respectful sexual behaviour looks like – and how you won’t see it in most porn. White Ribbon has produced a video about talking with young men about respectful relationships and porn.

“Following the verdict we must take action to prevent violence. That means taking real steps such as talking about consent, disrupting other men’s violence or talking about respectful sexual relationships and pornography. Doing nothing is one option that is not open to the country with the highest rate of reported violence towards women.”

 

 

White Ribbon Media
Nancy Blackler 0272425318 nancy@blackoutmusic.co.nz
Rob McCann 0212122953 rob@whiteribbon.org.nz
Spokespeople Rob McCann, Mark Longley, Richie Hardcore, Anna Campbell, Karlene Jonkers

 

Additional notes:

Rape Culture
Refers to when society normalises sexualised violence. By doing that we accept and create rape culture.

Rape culture includes jokes, TV, music, advertising, legal jargon, laws, words and imagery, that make violence against women and sexual coercion seem so normal that people believe that rape is inevitable. Rather than viewing the culture of rape as a problem to change, people in a rape culture think about the persistence of rape as “just the way things are.”

White Ribbon focuses on changing men’s social norms to undermine their support of sexual violence. Having men break out of the Man Box prevents a ‘rape culture’ from developing.

Examples of Rape Culture

  • Blaming the victim (“She asked for it!”)
  • Trivialising sexual assault (“Boys will be boys!”)
  • Sexually explicit jokes
  • Tolerance of sexual harassment
  • Inflating false rape report statistics
  • Publicly scrutinizing a victim’s dress, mental state, motives, and history
  • Gratuitous gendered violence in movies and television
  • Defining “manhood” as dominant and sexually aggressive
  • Defining “womanhood” as submissive and sexually passive
  • Pressure on men to “score”
  • Pressure on women to not appear “cold”
  • Assuming only promiscuous women get raped
  • Assuming that men don’t get raped or that only “weak” men get raped
  • Refusing to take rape accusations seriously
  • Teaching women to avoid getting raped

 

Bystander Intervention
It is likely that many of the accused’s mates will have known of his behaviour or elements of it. As mates we have an opportunity to set the norms of what is ok and what is not.

If you hear someone say something disrespectful or display unhealthy behaviours such as harassing women, telling inappropriate jokes, picking a fight, etc., there are a few things you can do to challenge the language or behaviour. By doing nothing we are effectively condoning the behaviour. You can use one or more of the 4Ds;

  • be Direct – challenge them verbally ‘that’s not cool, bro’
  • Distract – get them to do something else, or ask a question of the person who is on the receiving end of the unhealthy behaviour to engage them in conversation (useful if you don’t feel safe being direct)
  • Delegate – talk to someone else about what is going on. Ask their friend/parent/workmate/boss what they think of the behaviour and if there is anything they can do to address it. Work together to see what you could do.
  • Delay – it might not always feel safe to intervene or challenge at the time, depending on the situation, so you can ask them later about whether they realised their behaviour was harmful, or ask the person who might have been on the receiving end how they are.
    (Adapted from – https://www.ihollaback.org/resources/bystander-resources/)
  • Watch and talk to others about this resource – Who Are You? (for older teenagers) https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=iUj2OHLAG3w

Get support for yourself

 

The need to educate your young men and women
When it comes to issues such as pornography and sexual relationships, adults need to have conversations about respectful sexual relationships and consent with our young men and women. By keeping silent (whether through embarrassment or a lack of knowledge or fear) we are allowing third parties such as pornography, media, or their mates to educate our youth. The information they receive can be harmful and often does not ensure they know what they are seeing is NOT real. Many young men are presenting with issues such as erectile dysfunction because the porn they are watching is so violent or extreme and real life does not create the same excitement. Young women are presenting with incontinence issues due to the extreme sex they think they need to participate in. There are also real issues with the increase in violence within porn with physical hitting, strangulation and treating women as receptacles for men’s pleasure. The key issue is that we have to have these conversations. White Ribbon provides information in the Toolbox Section – Respectful Sexual Relationships and Start with Respect at https://whiteribbon.org.nz/toolbox/ (this includes ages and stages information), a video on talking about sexual relationships and pornography with young men https://vimeo.com/299375746. You can also use the Cup of Tea Video to talk about the issue of Consent https://whiteribbon.org.nz/?s=cup+of+tea

All these resources are freely available.

 

What causes the violence

Violence is not about people losing control. Intimate partner violence is about power and control. Violence is a tool used to keep control in a relationship.

It is rigid ideas about gender and gender roles that contribute to men’s use of violence against females.

Even with 80% of family and intimate-partner violence incidents going unreported, New Zealand still has the worst rate for this violence in the world. Our country also has the third highest rate of sexual assault in the world. This indicates that too many New Zealand men still express their masculinity through dominance and power over women.

 

Specific links between masculinity and violence are:

  • Where a culture expects masculinity to involve dominance and toughness there is male violence against females.
  • If an individual man over-conforms to perceived male gender expectations of strength, power and domination, he is more likely to rape women.
  • There’s more sexual violence where men and women have segregated lives, a belief in male sexual conquest, strong male bonding, high alcohol consumption, use of pornography, and sexist social norms.
  • Sexual violence serving as a tool for men and boys to prove their manhood, achieve the social status of a “real man,” and establish power over others.
  • When men believe that they are not – or are not perceived to be – “masculine enough,” they may use intimate partner violence to overcompensate or conform with gendered expectations.

White Ribbon believes young men can be socialised into having unhealthy attitudes and behaviours. This occurs through the media we watch, society’s expectations and the #UnspokenRules that surround us. Our November Campaign focuses on Challenging the #UnspokenRules such as Boys Don’t Cry, Toughen Up and Be the Man.

These #unspoken rules put pressure on boys and young men to behave in certain ways and dismiss “unmanly” behaviour, leading them to suppress their emotions and their individuality. This affects how our boys and young men feel about themselves, and how they treat others. It affects how they approach their relationships, and can lead them to act disrespectfully – even violently – toward their partners.

We have the opportunity to use our voices as parents, caregivers and influencers to speak up over the #unspoken. By saying out loud to our boys and young men that it’s ok for them to be who they are, we can encourage them to define themselves as men who have respectful relationships – protecting our whole community.

 

The campaign will focus on undermining these unhelpful #unspoken rules, and promoting healthy masculinity (and Respectful Relationships) as an alternative.

  • Healthy masculinity is rejecting unhelpful stereotypes and #unspoken rules about what it is to be a boy or man.
  • Healthy masculinity is about being kind, empathetic, finding peaceful resolutions to problems.
  • Healthy masculinity is about boys and men being confident in who they are without feeling pressure to be a certain type of boy/man.
  • Boys and men can still be ‘brave’, ‘have muscles’, assertive, tough, love rugby, enjoy time with other men and boys, enjoy a ‘pint’ with the lads. But boys and men should also be free to express sad emotions, enjoy cooking, dancing, gardening and anything else that does not fit into gender stereotypes.
  • Healthy masculinity is treating everyone with respect and having Respectful Relationships (which always include consent).
  • Healthy masculinity is recognising that people express gender and sexuality in a variety of ways.

 

White Ribbon promotes respectful relationships to prevent domestic and sexual violence against women. 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 breaking 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.

 

THE FINAL STRETCH OF THE WHITE RIBBON RIDE 2019 – WHITE RIBBON DAY – MONDAY 25 NOVEMBER –

After a week out on the road, the annual White Ribbon Ride is heading into the final stretch, delivering the message that we need to Challenge the #UNSPOKEN RULES to communities across New Zealand.

Unspoken rules are the clichés such as ‘boys don’t cry’ and ‘toughen up’. These outdated ideas of masculinity harm our young men by limiting them to stereotypes that are fundamentally unhealthy. If you can’t express your emotions, you bottle them up and we know that men need to open up for their own mental health and to ensure they have healthy respectful relationships.

“The White Ribbon Ride began in New Zealand in 2009,” says Takurua Tawera, the lower North Island Ride Leader. “It provides an opportunity to get in front of communities that might otherwise not hear these messages from a campaign like White Ribbon.”

“Each campaign we try to visit around 80 communities where we deliver a specific campaign message in person,” says Mr Tawera. “The key is using personal stories that weave in messages. That way our riders are using their own experiences and stories to support the campaign.”

Ken Mahon, the new South Island White Ribbon Leader agrees, “The most powerful message is when it’s delivered from the heart or personal experience. That’s when you see an audience connect with a story or message.”

“The #UnspokenRules campaign is the strongest campaign I’ve been involved in. As young boys most of us have been told to toughen up or that boys don’t cry,” says Mr Mahon. “That type of pressure and advice is unhelpful and damaging.”

The Ride continues in the lower half of the North Island with a final event outside Parliament on White Ribbon Day (Monday 25th November, 12:30pm) with a special performance from the winner of White Ribbon’s high school Spoken Word Competition Hannah Dorey.

The South Island Ride also wraps up on White Ribbon Day after meeting Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, who has a special interest in family violence prevention on Saturday.

For interviews Nancy Blackler | 0272 425 318 |nancy@blackoutmusic.co.nz

Notes and Assets:

New Zealand has the highest level of reported violence towards women in the developed world.
– 41% of a frontline police officers’ time is spent responding to family violence.
– One in three women experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime.

Research commissioned by White Ribbon this year found that:
– 47% of men surveyed had been told as young men that ‘boys don’t cry’
– 65% had been told that ‘boys should harden or toughen up’
Conversely, only 9% of women were told that ‘girls don’t cry.’

There are healthy alternatives to suppressing emotions. Young men should feel encouraged to show emotions and to be able to talk about how they feel. As adults, we can help boys (and all children) to do this by giving them the language to discuss their feelings. As a starting point you can say, ‘I can see you are sad about …’ And we need to role model that behaviour as children learn from watching us.

  • For more information about White Ribbon, go to www.whiteribbon.org.nz
  • Link to the #Unspoken Rules campaign HERE
  • Link to the research HERE
  • Link to graphics and videos HERE

 

New Research – young men are told to harden up and that boys don’t cry

Research commissioned by White Ribbon has shown that problematic stereotypes around masculinity remain pervasive in New Zealand.

The research found that that 47% of men were told that ‘boys don’t cry’ while 65% were told that ‘boys should harden or toughen up’ when they were boys. Conversely only 9% of women were told that ‘girls don’t cry.’

White Ribbon Manager Rob McCann says the massive levels of violence by men against women in New Zealand are in part driven by behaviours men frequently assume are normal. “These clichés or #UnspokenRules help shape who we become and what we believe. Ultimately they are damaging and unhealthy.”

Mr McCann says a challenge facing too many young men is the sense that they have to live up to the unspoken rules of masculinity – clichés such as “boys don’t cry” and “toughen up”.

“White Ribbon is encouraging everyone to challenge the unspoken rules, so we can let boys and young men enjoy their individuality and define themselves as men who have respectful relationships with themselves and their partners – creating happier, healthier communities for us all.”

Mr McCann says the research findings are very concerning. “We are programming our young men with unrealistic and unhealthy ideas about what it means to be a man. These unspoken rules put pressure on boys and young men to behave in certain ways and dismiss ‘unmanly’ behaviour, leading them to suppress their emotions and their individuality. This affects how our boys and young men feel about themselves, and how they treat others.”

Mr McCann says these unspoken rules affect how young men approach their relationships, and can lead them to act disrespectfully – even violently – toward their partners.

White Ribbon lock up square“White Ribbon is asking the community to use our voices as parents, caregivers and influencers to challenge the #unspoken rules. We need to say out loud to our boys and young men that it’s ok for them to be who they are, and not get trapped in what we sometimes call the man box,” says Mr McCann.

To undermine the #UnspokenRules White Ribbon has created a number of resources that highlight and attempt to undermine three of these clichés with a range of posters and online videos promoting healthy masculinity.

 

Notes:

What Healthy Masculinity looks like:

  • Healthy masculinity is rejecting unhelpful stereotypes and unspoken rules about what it is to be a boy or man.
  • Healthy masculinity is about being kind, empathetic, finding peaceful resolutions to problems.
  • Healthy masculinity is about boys and men being confident in who they are without feeling pressure to be a certain type of boy/man.
  • Boys and men can still be ‘brave’, and have ‘muscles’, be assertive, tough, love rugby, enjoy time with other men and boys, enjoy a ‘pint’ with the lads (for men!). But boys and men should also be free to express sad emotions, enjoy cooking, dancing, gardening and anything else that does not fit into gender stereotypes.
  • Healthy masculinity is treating everyone with respect.
  • Healthy masculinity is recognising that people express gender and sexuality in a variety of ways.

 

The Man Box

  • White Ribbon calls the expectations that men must always appear dominant, tough and in charge “The Man Box”.
  • It’s a box that’s prescriptive and restrictive. Any different behaviours are dismissed as being not manly.
  • Often a boy and a man will believe he needs to appear tough and in-control in front of other men. This is from a fear, real or not, that they’ll reject him, possibly violently, if he doesn’t fit in. Being told to ‘Man Up’ is to be reminded to get back into The Man Box. A man may use violence to show his peers he is manly.
  • Suppressing individual identities and diverse emotional responses is stressful. It’s also unhealthy as these men avoid asking for help.
  • Men who break out of The Man Box to choose their own masculine identity report that they’re less stressed, more satisfied with life and have happier relationships.

 

Research
Conducted by Research New Zealand in 2019.
Full research here.

That boys don’t cry

  • 47% Yes, I was led to believe this was true
  • 46% No, I was not led to believe this was true
  • 7% Don’t know

That boys should harden or toughen up

  • 65% Yes
  • 30% No
  • 5% Don’t know

That girls shouldn’t cry

  • 9% Yes I believe this was true
  • 87% No
  • 4% Don’t know

 

White Ribbon Graphics can be downloaded from here

New Research – young men are told to harden up and that boys don’t cry

Media Release
17 November

New Research – young men are told to harden up and that boys don’t cry

 

Research commissioned by White Ribbon has shown that problematic stereotypes around masculinity remain pervasive in New Zealand.

The research found that that 47% of men were told that ‘boys don’t cry’ while 65% were told that ‘boys should harden or toughen up’ when they were boys. Conversely only 9% of women were told that ‘girls don’t cry.’

White Ribbon Manager Rob McCann says the massive levels of violence by men against women in New Zealand are in part driven by behaviours men frequently assume are normal. “These clichés or #UnspokenRules help shape who we become and what we believe. Ultimately they are damaging and unhealthy.”

Mr McCann says a challenge facing too many young men is the sense that they have to live up to the unspoken rules of masculinity – clichés such as “boys don’t cry” and “toughen up”.

“White Ribbon is encouraging everyone to challenge the unspoken rules, so we can let boys and young men enjoy their individuality and define themselves as men who have respectful relationships with themselves and their partners – creating happier, healthier communities for us all.”

Mr McCann says the research findings are very concerning. “We are programming our young men with unrealistic and unhealthy ideas about what it means to be a man. These unspoken rules put pressure on boys and young men to behave in certain ways and dismiss ‘unmanly’ behaviour, leading them to suppress their emotions and their individuality. This affects how our boys and young men feel about themselves, and how they treat others.”

Mr McCann says these unspoken rules affect how young men approach their relationships, and can lead them to act disrespectfully – even violently – toward their partners.

“White Ribbon is asking the community to use our voices as parents, caregivers and influencers to challenge the #unspoken rules. We need to say out loud to our boys and young men that it’s ok for them to be who they are, and not get trapped in what we sometimes call the man box,” says Mr McCann.

To undermine the #UnspokenRules White Ribbon has created a number of resources that highlight and attempt to undermine three of these clichés with a range of posters and online videos promoting healthy masculinity.

 

Notes:

What Healthy Masculinity looks like:

  • Healthy masculinity is rejecting unhelpful stereotypes and unspoken rules about what it is to be a boy or man.
  • Healthy masculinity is about being kind, empathetic, finding peaceful resolutions to problems.
  • Healthy masculinity is about boys and men being confident in who they are without feeling pressure to be a certain type of boy/man.
  • Boys and men can still be ‘brave’, and have ‘muscles’, be assertive, tough, love rugby, enjoy time with other men and boys, enjoy a ‘pint’ with the lads (for men!). But boys and men should also be free to express sad emotions, enjoy cooking, dancing, gardening and anything else that does not fit into gender stereotypes.
  • Healthy masculinity is treating everyone with respect.
  • Healthy masculinity is recognising that people express gender and sexuality in a variety of ways.

 

The Man Box

  • White Ribbon calls the expectations that men must always appear dominant, tough and in charge “The Man Box”.
  • It’s a box that’s prescriptive and restrictive. Any different behaviours are dismissed as being not manly.
  • Often a boy and a man will believe he needs to appear tough and in-control in front of other men. This is from a fear, real or not, that they’ll reject him, possibly violently, if he doesn’t fit in. Being told to ‘Man Up’ is to be reminded to get back into The Man Box. A man may use violence to show his peers he is manly.
  • Suppressing individual identities and diverse emotional responses is stressful. It’s also unhealthy as these men avoid asking for help.
  • Men who break out of The Man Box to choose their own masculine identity report that they’re less stressed, more satisfied with life and have happier relationships.

 

Research
Conducted by Research New Zealand in 2019. Full research here.

That boys don’t cry

  • 47% Yes, I was led to believe this was true
  • 46% No, I was not led to believe this was true
  • 7% Don’t know

That boys should harden or toughen up

  • 65% Yes
  • 30% No
  • 5% Don’t know

That girls shouldn’t cry

  • 9% Yes I believe this was true
  • 87% No
  • 4% Don’t know

 

White Ribbon Media

 

White Ribbon Graphics can be downloaded from here