White Ribbon supports new anti-violence measures

White Ribbon logo for Facebook profileWhite Ribbon Media Release

13 September 2016

White Ribbon supports new anti-violence measures

Cam Ronald, White Ribbon Chair, has welcomed the Prime Minister’s intention to overhaul the family violence prevention system.

“For too long violence has been hidden behind closed doors,” says Mr Ronald. “Perpetrators have used their long held expectations of privacy to use violence to control their partner and or families. The speech today by the Prime Minister signalled a long overdue change in attitude. That violence is ‘our’ problem, and no longer something that can be swept under the carpet and hidden from view.

“The focus on early intervention is to be welcomed, as are the proposed changes which include a new offence of non-fatal strangulation, strengthening Protection Orders, and sharing of information which can assist courts.

“The suite of proposed changes is significant, and signals a substantive change to the way in which New Zealand approaches family violence. We believe there is a clear theme of promoting victim safety, which is paramount, and making perpetrators of family violence more accountable. White Ribbon applauds this focus.

“As an organisation with a goal to eliminate men’s violence towards women, White Ribbon believes that education around ‘respectful relationships’ is a key requirement to ensure violence is avoided. The Prime Minister clearly put the need for change in the hands of men, and challenged men who are violent in their relationships and within their family, to do something, and to seek help, to change their behaviour.

“With this in mind we look forward to continuing to work with the government and anti-violence sector to eliminate the attitudes that lead to violence,” says Mr Ronald.

 

KEY STATISTICS

  • One in three women will experience partner violence at some point in their lives
  • Less than 20 percent of abuse cases are reported
  • Over 3,500 convictions are recorded against men each year for assaults on women
  • On average, 14 women a year are killed by their partners or ex-partners
  • Police attend a family violence incident every 5 ½ minutes
  • Family violence accounts for half of all reported serious crime
  • In 2013 Police recorded 95,101 family violence instigations
  • In 2014 Police responded to over 100,000 family violence incidents
  • In 2015Police responded to over 110,000 family violence incidents

KEY WHITE RIBBON MESSAGES

  • Say yes to respectful relationships and no to violence towards women
  • Respectful relationships require equality, communication and consent
  • Violence is not just physical
  • Men are part of the solution
  • You can help fix this problem by taking The Pledge

The focus of the 2016 November campaign is ‘Respectful Relationships’

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White Ribbon Offers support to NZRFU to ensure that there is a strong message around the need to treat people with respect at all times

chiefs

Photo: PHOTOSPORT

White Ribbon New Zealand has offered support to the New Zealand Rugby Players Association and the management of the Chiefs rugby franchise in responding to the incident where a stripper was employed at an end of season function. The chair of the White Ribbon Advisory Committee, Cam Ronald, said “I had contact with both the Chiefs and the Players Association to offer support from White Ribbon. This would ensure that a strong message around the need to treat people with respect at all times, to avoid incidents such as the one which was then under investigation by the NZRFU. These offers were accepted.”

“The management at the Chiefs had already accessed the White Ribbon web site and used material from the White Ribbon toolkit developed in 2015 which provides a template for respectful relationships, and they had used some of that material in framing their response and management of the incident.”

Cam said that “an offer for further contact with the Players Association, together with the Professional Development managers of all the New Zealand rugby franchises, had been extended for October, and this was being progressed.”

White Ribbon emphasises their aim of developing and maintaining appropriate and respectful relationships between men and women in all situations and environments, to avoid incidents such as this.

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Small selection of Media on the issue:

Love Rugby Respect Women

love-rugby-respect-womenA letter signed by many prominent New Zealanders including Dr Jackie Blue, EEO Commissioner, Louise Nicholas, Sexual Violence Survivors Advocate, Rae Duff, National President, National Council of Women of New Zealand, Prue Kapua, National President, Maori Women’s Welfare League, Ang Jury, CEO Women’s Refuge, Barbara Williams, National Council of Women, Dame Susan Devoy, Race Relations Commissioner and Jane Drumm, Shine asks the New Zealand Rugby management and board members to take on board external offers of assistance. You can read the letter here

 

Stan Walker supports White Ribbon NZ

White Ribbon Ambassador Stan Walker is coming to New Zealand and touring for the first time in three years. As if that isn’t enough, Stan is  helping to promote ‘Respectful Relationships’ in schools across New Zealand. We have 50 concert tickets and thousands of dollars worth of merchandise to give away to school students who take part in our ‘Respectful Relationships’ competition. And one school will win the chance to have Stan visit in person! Stan is also donating some of the proceeds of the tour to two of his favourite charities The Key to Life and White Ribbon. To view Stan’s New Takeover New Zealand Tour click here. Details of the schools competition coming soon.

Stan Walker - New Takeover NZ Tour

New White Ribbon Advisory Committee Chair

Judge Peter Boshier congratulates new White Ribbon Advisory Committee Chair Cam Ronald

Judge Peter Boshier congratulates new White Ribbon Advisory Committee Chair Cam Ronald

I am delighted to have the opportunity to take up the role of Chairman of the New Zealand White RibbonAdvisory Committee. The Advisory Committee serves an important role. It supports the annual activities leading up to 25 November, while at the same time allowing government and non-government agencies to work together, to coordinate the campaign and to provide advice. During the year, the Advisory Committee meets about six times to provide advice to the White Ribbon Trust which manages the financial and business side of White Ribbon New Zealand.

There are a number of challenges we face, including ensuring the Advisory Committee remains a conduit to the anti-violence community in New Zealand. I want to ensure we are hearing your voices and that you are feeding your experience and knowledge into the campaign.

To that end I want to find ways to ensure that there is greater representation from the NGO sector so your views and the knowledge as the experts working in the field with the survivors and perpetrators of domestic and family violence are better used to inform the campaign.

Over the last few years I have had the chance to work on a New Zealand Overseas Development Program delivered by the New Zealand Police, working with the police and the communities in the Pacific to reduce the incidence and the harm from domestic and family violence. A key outcome of this work was an Accord reached in 2014 which identified that culture, religion, and tradition are never a valid excuse for abuse.

The Accord called on religious, political, and police leaders to speak out and to act in a positive way to reduce the incidence of violence and to overcome barriers to changing men’s attitudes and community attitudes to the rights of women and girls.

There seem to be a number of similarities between the findings of the Pacific Nadi Accord, and the situation, as I see it, in New Zealand. If all leaders, both political and non-political, community leaders, religious leaders, and other people in positions of authority and who have a public voice were to speak out with one voice, then I think we could see a significant change in the current acceptance of violence as normal.

This is an ideal role for White Ribbon – to enthuse those who want to lead change, and encourage those who have yet to come to the realisation that change is required.

As the Chair I would like to reinforce our existing relationships, such as those with the “It’s not OK” campaign, our White Ribbon Riders, government agencies, corporates and especially with community groups working at the coalface.

White Ribbon New Zealand has 100 men who have chosen to be White Ribbon Ambassadors who carry the message in their own lives, and in the community, that violence will not be tolerated. The mix of Ambassadors, while diverse, would benefit from having a greater representation from the New Zealand Pacific Island community, and with my background, I’m keen to see that the ratio of Ambassadors drawn from the New Zealand Pacific Island community increases.

White Ribbon is an internationally respected and well-known brand. It carries a consistent message that violence will not be tolerated, especially in the domestic and family violence environment. I’m keen to see that the fine reputation of White Ribbon is maintained and to grow the reach of the campaign.

Judge Peter Boshier has left the New Zealand White Ribbon organisation in very good heart, and it is my privilege, and also my challenge, to continue the strong leadership, messaging and example set by Judge Boshier.  I look forward to providing support to the other Ambassadors, and to the White Ribbon Campaign Manager, Rob McCann, who carries the day-to-day operations of White Ribbon in such a successful way.

 

Cam Ronald

 

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Cam Ronald – Brief Bio

Cam joined the Police in 1972 at Invercargill. The majority of his operational service has been in the Criminal Investigation Branch in Invercargill, Christchurch and Queenstown, with a particular emphasis on gang investigations and criminal intelligence.

He moved from Invercargill to Police Headquarters in 1989 as the OC of Interpol.  This was followed by periods on the INCIS computer project, national coordinator of the undercover programme, development of various initiatives for CIB including anti money laundering procedures and the introduction of the national DNA databank, followed by a period as the head of the National Bureau of Criminal Intelligence.

In 2001 he and Jenny undertook a three year diplomatic posting to Canberra as the NZ Police Liaison Officer.

In 2004 he took up the position of Executive Director of the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Secretariat in Wellington.

Cam retired as a sworn member of the Police in March 2007. He was re – employed by the NZ Police as a programme manager leading a NZ Government  regional police programme, the Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Programme (PPDVP), to reduce the incidence of domestic violence in the pacific. Cam has just recently retired from this role and will focus on White Ribbon.

PPDVP has worked with pacific police each year to recognise White Ribbon Day and the 16 Days of Activism on Women’s Rights.  Many pacific police services now have White Ribbon day as a regular event in their calendar, and work with other agencies and their communities in various ways, to recognise the significance of the Day.  In 2013 the Australian Federal Police accepted an invitation from PPDVP to work together and to offer support to these regional activities.

Cam and Jenny have one son who is a Police Constable working on Youth Aid in Wellington.

Making Good Men

makingGoodmen2-650x433

Kia ora whanau, family and friends

You may be aware that a documentary featuring myself and actor Manu Bennett is to screen on Prime TV this coming Monday night 25th July on Prime Tv @9.30pm.

It is called Making Good Men and tells a very personal story about me, my whānau and the violence that darkened too many lives; and in particular Manu.

It was extremely difficult story to tell in such a public way.  But, it shows that even after a long period of time some incredible healing can be done.

The power of choice – we all have it!

I hope that people who watch Making Good Men will see that no matter what our situation is. No matter how hard it is, we all have the power to change. It wasn’t easy, but I chose to own the violence and fear that I created, to apologise to Manu and his whānau, to understand my father’s upbringing, suspend judgement and forgive my dad, and to tell our story.

Silence is damaging – silence allows violence to flourish unchecked

One of the things I do now is work with E Tū Whānau (click the link and have a look). One of the values we live by is Korero Awhi.   I have seen how powerful positive and supportive communication can be.  Standing up, speaking out, admitting our mistakes and challenging any violation of ourselves or others now; can create change for today and for future generations. Violence can destroy lives, families and communities. But, it can be stopped.

Forgiveness, aroha, redemption, hope

Forgiveness and aroha paved a pathway to redemption, and redemption created hope. I hope Making Good men will show that even the smallest glimmer of hope can be all that it takes to sow the seeds of change.

I am heartened and feel inspired by the discussion it is creating already.  You can have a look here: http://www.teamokura.com/making-good-men/

I hope you watch it. I hope it helps.  It helped me.

 

Nga mihi nui

Norm Hewitt

Bill O’Brien joins White Ribbon as an Ambassador

Bill & Lesley Elliott

Lesley Elliott and Bill O’Brien from the Sophie Elliott Foundation

White Ribbon proud to announce Bill O’Brien as a White Ribbon Ambassador

Bill O’Brien a former police officer, now writer and anti-violence advocate has taken on the role of White Ribbon Ambassador, a decision spurred by his previous experiences and research.

White Ribbon is a campaign that educates men about non-violent attitudes towards women. The campaign aims to end family violence, the seriousness of which is indicated by the 100,000 incidents which police attended in 2014. Ambassadors are a key way in which the White Ribbon Campaign challenges the behaviour of abusive men and builds support and visibility for non-violence.

“White Ribbon welcomes Bill as a White Ribbon Ambassador,’ says Rob McCann, White Ribbon Committee Campaign Manager. “This is a man who stands side by side with Lesley Elliott and the Sophie Elliott Foundation, delivering the kind of messages that our youth need to hear. Now White Ribbon will be able to benefit from that knowledge and commitment.”

Mr O’Brien has seen the trauma associated with violent behaviour during a 35-year-long policing career and is now a Trustee with the Sophie Elliott Foundation, where he advocates zero tolerance for abuse. Bill manages foundation aspects of the nationwide police run Loves-Me-Not workshops in schools.

“This is an opportunity for the Sophie Elliott Foundation and White Ribbon to work even more closely,” says Mr O’Brien, “ ensuring both boys and girls hear the same messages about respectful relationships.”

“I feel that people need to understand and appreciate the benefits of having a respectful relationship. By speaking out and educating young people about respect, we are shaping the well-being of communities.”

This year, White Ribbon will expand upon their ‘Respectful Relationships Campaign’, a building block which promotes concepts like consent and healthy communication techniques that help to protect against violence.

“I’ve seen the after effects of violence,” says Mr O’Brien. “It destroys lives and that’s why my focus is now directed at our youth. We need to ensure that they do not grow up and make the same violent choices that too many adults make. Research internationally indicates that the most effective way of reducing violence is through education.”

“I hope my role as a White Ribbon Ambassador will ensure that violence is not seen as an option for boys or acceptable to girls.”

 

lesley and sophie

Sophie Elliott Foundation

Website: www.sophieelliottfoundation.co.nz

Email:info@sophieelliottfoundation.co.nz

Facebook: sophieelliottfoundation

#better than this – a week-long series on family violence by the NZ Herald

family_violence_index_page_header

The New Zealand Herald have put together a series of articles about family violence in New Zealand called #betterthanthis. White Ribbon commends the Herald for putting together such a wide range of views that focused on what is one of the most serious issues affecting New Zealand. (All content belongs to the NZ Herald and special thanks must go to Anna Leask). Click to view the videos and articles.

Five years ago Emily Longley was murdered by her ex-boyfriend. Her father Mark talks about the terrible toll of losing his daughter.

Five years ago Emily Longley was murdered by her ex-boyfriend. Her father Mark Longley (White Ribbon Ambassador) talks about the terrible toll of losing his daughter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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