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 Unspoken Rules are the expectations boys and young men inherit from society, based on outdated ideas of what a man is, how he acts, and how he should express himself.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

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

  • Talk to your mates and your family
  • https://www.lifeline.org.nz/
  • Find a Stopping Violence Service in your area
  • Hey Bro – https://www.hewakatapu.org.nz/services/0800-hey-bro
  • Youthline – https://www.youthline.co.nz/
  • Rainbow Youth – https://ry.org.nz/
  • Men’s groups – https://www.renews.co.nz/mens-circles-helping-kiwi-men-express-themselves/?fbclid=IwAR1pGd73jAEqPYHOxLccswSZLPSDt_zdmn76Zh52eggooHgwdSllyuwP_m4
  • https://www.mosaic-wgtn.org.nz/ – Supporting male survivors of sexual abuse

 

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.

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

Research – #UnspokenRules

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.

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

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.’

“These findings are very concerning,” says Mr McCann. “We are programming our young men with unrealistic and unhealthy ideas about what it means to be a man. These 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.”

 

Survey conducted by Research NZ

Download the full Research here.

Please note there are two tabs on the excel file. One is data by age, the other is by gender.
The information below is data by gender.

 

Questions to Males
When you were growing up, which of the following were you led to believe were true about boys?

That boys don’t cry
47% – Yes, I was led to believe this was true (only 10% of girls were told this)
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 boys need to be THE man (which means being in-charge, dominant, the main breadwinner)
55% Yes
41% No
4% Don’t know

That boys don’t back down from fights
36% Yes
59% No
5% Don’t know

That boys need to control their emotions (i.e. don’t show their feelings)
44% Yes
50% No
6% Don’t know

That boys are supposed to be muscular
47% Yes (57% of 18-24 year olds believe this)
48% No
5% Don’t know

 

Questions to Females
Thinking about when you were growing up, which of the following were you led to believe were true about girls? That girls are not supposed to be dominant or in charge
30% Yes I believe this was true
65% No
5% Don’t know

That girls are not supposed to sleep with lots of guys
71% Yes I believe this was true
23% No
7% Don’t know

That girls shouldn’t cry
9% Yes I believe this was true
87% No
4% Don’t know

That girls are supposed to be skinny (and/or pretty)
46% Yes I believe this was true
49% No
5% Don’t know

Men Can Change

Jamie Addison

Jamie Addison on the White Ribbon Ride 2019

Redemption is an option that is always open. It isn’t easy but when it is chosen it is a powerful tool for personal and public change. Jamie Addison is an excellent example of a person, who acknowledged his past and worked hard to turn his life around, against the odds.

Jamie’s early life was influenced by his Dad, who was a heavy drinker and there was a culture of alcohol dependence that affected all of his male role models.

Jamie says he was nurtured by the women in his life. The culture he grew up in saw women as being there to serve men, to take care of the home, undertake all the preparations for birthdays and dinners. While men were the providers and expected that when they got home they would be waited upon.

“When mum pushed back, there would be graphic violence, assaults, and then that violence would often be directed at the children. Dad would assault us if we tried to protect mum by whipping us with jug cords, vacuum cleaner hoses etc. In the same breath, we were told by our Dad to harden up, and asked ‘what are you crying for’ after a beating.”

Jamie says the White Ribbon #Unspoken Rules campaign is one that really hits home for him.

“I was taught those #unspoken rules; that boys don’t cry, that we had to harden up and that it is not ok to be vulnerable, or hurt or lonely. Dad was the provider, the head of the house and so we thought it must be ok to act like this.”

“Although my dad was hard on me, I loved him and still do. Not just because we should forgive people, but because he’s my dad. And that makes the #unspoken rules even more powerful, because often they’re being passed down to you by the people you love”.

“So when I became a father at age 16 all that behaviour that was role modelled to me had been downloaded into my memory banks,” says Jamie.

“I ended up being my father. I had the whole core system; I was indoctrinated. I needed to be in charge, otherwise I was weak, and I thought women were there to do as I told them. I used physical and psychological violence, pushing my partner, punching holes in walls, levelling tables that were set up with meals, using intimidating behaviour, making threats and innuendo all directed at my wife.”

Jamie says the impact of violence on both of his two ex-partners made them terrified of him and his unpredictable behaviour.

“I was also fuelled by addiction and drugs. My partner was living in fear until she finally found the courage to get away.”

Jamie says he got to a point in his life where he woke up one morning and had lost everything he loved.

“I didn’t take any responsibility for my actions. I went straight to being a victim, wondering why they had left me. I couldn’t understand that I had caused this problem. I still thought it was them. There are many men who do this, blame all the external elements, friends, parents, women, and have no ownership of the issue, no understanding that their own attitudes and behaviour have led to a breakdown.

“I needed to do something. I realised I was going to jail or worse, I’d die because of my drug abuse. A family member took me to a treatment programme and laid it out that this was my last chance.”

For Jamie the challenge was to address his core behaviour and those belief systems: that he was in charge, that women were just there to do what he wanted, that men don’t show emotions. These beliefs were instilled at a very young age.

“The #unspoken rules ensured I knew how I was supposed to behave, that this was how it was supposed to be. I’d seen my Dad, he was in charge, he earned the money, he was the man, he used violence that affected me, and demonstrated that this was how it must be, that this was normal. It’s not until you see something different that you realise non-violence is actually normal. I thought it was the norm to have bruises and to treat women as objects to cook, clean, and provide sex.”

Jamie says it wasn’t until he met his current wife, who he has been with for the last 13 years, that he realised that all that stuff was a crock.

“My wife Audrey and I have two sons together but between us we have 12 kids and grandchildren. It’s a non-violent house, a beacon of hope, but I have to be a role model to our children and undo the damage I’ve caused to the children from when I was violent.”

“And through that 13 years lessons continued to be learnt as I had to take ownership of my outbursts that would disrupt the whanau dynamic. It was my wife who continued to reach out to those men such as the White Ribbon Riders who could hold me accountable. That was the biggest step I took to remain violence free.

Jamie became involved with White Ribbon when he was a drug counsellor and was given a White Ribbon pin by the chair of the White Ribbon Trust, Takurua Tawera.

“I realised that I can use my story to effect change. Over the last four years I’ve been known to be ‘that’ guy so people would come to me and ask for advice and help. This is very humbling, and now with training I’m a passionate advocate for non-violence in the community and for White Ribbon, having recently been approved as a White Ribbon Ambassador.

Jamie also uses the White Ribbon Ride to get his message across. “My first White Ribbon Ride was in 2015. I love that we are able to use our bikes to get into areas where we would not otherwise be invited. The flash bikes open conversations and generate interest. We move from a conversation about the bike, to a conversation about White Ribbon, to men’s attitudes and this year we will be drawing attention to what creates those attitudes, the #unspoken rules that help to create who we are and what is normal for us.”

Jamie says he is very passionate about this year’s message. “Of all the messages, this is a huge one and it goes right to the core. This is solution stuff. We’re no longer just raising awareness. We’re challenging the core belief systems that can either create young men that care or young men that will use violence.”

“I couldn’t have changed without the support of my loving family. I love my wife, my kids and my grandchildren and I know there will be men out there that feel the same way I do. So change for yourself, and the whanau.”

White Ribbon AUSTRALIA has gone into liquidation. 

“We really feel for our friends in Australia and hope there is some light at the end of this tunnel,” says Rob McCann White Ribbon NZ Manager.

“Because we share a name,  we need to ensure people understand White Ribbon NZ is a separate charity. We have a staffing level of approximately 1.5 people, no offices as we work from home, and we expand our workforce with contractors from time to time when we have campaigns or funding. For the most part White Ribbon New Zealand runs with the support of thousands of volunteers, and that includes our unpaid board members, White Ribbon Ambassadors and White Ribbon Riders.”

“We are always short of funds and rely on government and, in recent years on the amazing support from ACC, for the funds required to run primary prevention campaigns.

“Our programmes such as the Youth Ambassador Leadership Programme and Workplace Accreditation would not be possible without the support of the many organisations across NZ that help raise funds and awareness, to assist us in preventing men’s violence towards women.”

“White Ribbon New Zealand looks forward to announcing our annual November Campaign in the near future,” say Mr McCann.

 

News Item from Australia

https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/white-ribbon-goes-into-liquidation-20191003-p52x9m.html 

Upper Hutt City Council Becomes a White Ribbon Accredited Business

Upper Hutt City Council is one of the first councils nationwide to be White Ribbon Accredited, alongside Carterton District Council and Napier City Council.

The councils were accredited by the White Ribbon Trust at a board meeting in early September. Council’s director of Community Services, Mike Ryan, applied for accreditation on 10 April 2019 which required Council to demonstrate the ability to support the White Ribbon kaupapa, enact policies, train staff, and put in place proactive violence prevention.

“Upper Hutt City Council is committed to being an employer that supports staff that are in domestic violence situations or are perpetrators of domestic violence as well as promoting awareness amongst staff of domestic violence within the workplace and community,” says Mr Ryan. “As a territorial authority, we have a duty of care to the members of our Community. We’re leading by example and encouraging other organisations to get on board.”

The importance of championing for a domestic violence-free community is highlighted by police call outs to incidents and disturbances within the wider community.

“Upper Hutt City Council has long been a supporter of initiatives that aim to reduce domestic violence,” says Council’s Chief Executive, Peter Kelly. “Achieving White Ribbon Accreditation is another step in that journey. We’re thankful of the opportunity to partner with and support White Ribbon in the reduction of violence towards women throughout our communities.”

In addition to Council’s accreditation, Community Development Team Leader, Sue Colville has now achieved White Ribbon Ambassador status. Sue’s role at Upper Hutt City Council gives her the opportunity to influence and support the White Ribbon kaupapa by engaging and connecting with Council staff and the Upper Hutt community, promoting key messages about respectful relationships and working to highlight the issue of family violence in our local community.

The Council is continuing to develop initiatives and support community efforts aimed at reducing domestic violence. These include White Ribbon Day activities in November and events throughout the year. These will be publicised in the coming months.

White Ribbon creates positive change through youth poetry competition

1st place Hannah Dorey from St Mary’s College

White Ribbon held their first ever spoken word competition last night at Wellington College with the finalists performing in front of a stellar lineup of celebrity judges.

The event was hosted by talented Samoan comedian Eteuati Ete, of The Laughing Samoans, and featured a judging panel including: Justice – Parliamentary Under-Secretary Jan Logie, award-winning Poet Chris Tse, Kirsten Johnstone Host of Radio New Zealand’s Song Crush, and Cori Gonzalez-Macuer from What We Do in the Shadows and 7 Days.

Ete said the event was a wonderful way for young people to truly understand the importance of equal and respectful relationships as they’re starting to form relationships themselves. “I only wish we had these types of open discussions when I was at school. It would have assisted me in being a better husband and father from the beginning.”

The competition was open to high-school students and challenged the students to create a spoken word piece on the theme of ‘Respectful Relationships’.

The judges had a hard decision with all the finalists producing compelling work. Taking out first place was Hannah Dorey from St Mary’s College, whose poem focuses on building up the strength to ‘respectfully decline’ an unhealthy relationship.

Second place Charlotte Lawrence from St Oran’s Lower Hutt with Under Secretary Jan Logie

Second place went to Charlotte Lawrence from St Oran’s Lower Hutt and third Avni Labhsetwar, Newlands College.

Hannah believes it is important to show people that they can have the strength to walk away from an unhealthy relationship.

“Poetry has been used as a healing tool for many centuries and is making a comeback.” says White Ribbon Manager Rob McCann. “Finding the words to articulate a traumatic experience can bring relief. We created this opportunity to give young people a voice where their thoughts on family harm and violence against women could be heard. We are incredibly proud of all the students entries which had very inspiring takes on ending (men’s) violence in New Zealand.”

“We are grateful to our generous sponsors who made this event possible. We look forward to building on this experience and creating more opportunities like this for students throughout New Zealand”

White Ribbon is an anti-violence campaign that calls for men to stand up, speak out, and act to prevent violence against women. Family violence accounts for half of all reported serious crime in New Zealand, with one family violence-related police call-out occurring every five minutes. This year the November campaign will be focused on our youth.

Third place Avni Labhsetwar, Newlands College

For any media inquiries or interviews please contact:

The finalists are being filmed in a studio and their spoken words will be used as part of the November Campaign.

You can see their videos here.

Rob McCann
Manager White Ribbon
rob@whiteribbon.org.nz

Flashmob Fundraiser – Wuthering Heights in Napier

White Ribbon recently received an extremely generous donation from a really innovative fundraising event organised by Howard and Gannon Funerals in Napier. We wanted to know more about how they came up with this fantastic idea and get some advice to pass on to other groups interested in running fundraising events that not only benefit charities but are also fun for participants so we asked them a few questions and they have kindly agreed to pass on their wisdom.

How did you come up with the idea for this event?

I saw The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever on YouTube and thought it was a crazy but great idea. I liked that it was all about having fun and participating, it’s not just for dancers but for all abilities, good…bad and otherwise. Kate Bush’s song is iconic and has an association for many generations of people world-wide. Also I thought that it was a unique idea for raising money for a designated charity, and a flashmob type event is on the bucket list of a lot of people!

Why did you choose to support White Ribbon? 

Myself and my work colleagues have followed White Ribbon through the media and we support what they promote – respectful relationships. We had to choose a charity to support, and it is all about reducing violence in our society, which is something we really believe in.

Who was involved in the planning?

This truly was a team effort by all the staff at Howard & Gannon Funerals and our families.

How many people took part?

Around 70 performed the dance.

Where and when did it take place?

We performed the dance in two locations in the Napier CBD, The Sound Shell on Napier’s Marine Parade, and also the main street.

How did you publicise it?

Mainly through Facebook (as an event). Also locally through radio – live interviews were very effective and the stations added our event to their social media pages. We also advertised it in community newspapers and distributed posters.

You raised an impressive sum of money (thank you again), how did you go about collecting the money?

We organised a bucket collection at the locations where we danced.

Do you have any advice for anyone organizing a similar event?

Use other people’s databases to get your event publicised i.e. like the radio stations and social media news forums. Next year we will target schools, and dance studios. We will also challenge businesses to use our event as a team building/social event for their staff.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

I contacted the local council (Napier City Council) to let them know what we were

planning and to make sure we weren’t breaking any bi-laws or rules. They booked out the locations we used and also added our event to their online page at no charge.

Next time we think it would be a good idea to give people the chance to support the event and charity by posting the WR bank account details on our media releases so they could donate direct. We found that some people wanted to donate money and support the event but couldn’t actually attend the event.

We want to thank Ross, Julie and all the team at Howard and Gannon Funerals for their support. It is fantastic to have your support to spread the White Ribbon kaupapa and help to prevent men’s violence against women.