Firearms Prohibition Orders and why they might make a difference

Media release
Monday 11 November
Firearms Prohibition Orders and why they might make a difference
White Ribbon Manager Rob McCann says Firearms Prohibition Orders could make a real difference if guns are kept out of the hands of people with a history of family harm.
“What we know is that threats and intimidation are a very real aspect of family violence,” says Mr McCann. For someone who has experienced violence, knowing that their abusive partner was not able to own a gun could provide some peace of mind.”
“What we know is that violence is not just physical, it also includes Financial Violence, Sexual Violence and Emotional and Psychological Violence. So being able to threaten someone by virtue of owning a gun, is just another way that perpetrators can intimidate and threaten, without having to use physical violence.”
“It’s very real, and scary.”
“The Firearms Prohibition Orders might also provide the peace of mind to help a victim leave a violent relationship. We know it can take up to eight attempts to leave, and this can be for a number of reasons such as financial dependence, social stigma or concern for children to name a few of the reasons. But we also know that leaving a violent relationship is the most dangerous time for women. It’s often when violence escalates because the perpetrator is no longer able to control the victim.  When fear, intimidation and physical violence to ensure compliance no longer work, some perpetrators escalate the violence or the threat of violence. Weapons can play a role in that.
“Knowing that a partner was not able to possess or own a weapon, might give someone the courage to get out, and it might even save a life.”
White Ribbon is about to launch its November Campaign, Challenge the #UnspokenRules which are the expectations that boys and young men inherit from society, based on outdated ideas of what a man is, how he acts, and how he should express himself. For more information

Additional reporting:


Let the memory of Grace Millane change our attitudes towards violence

White Ribbon Media Release: 06 November 2019


The Grace Millane Trial will hopefully achieve two things. Ensure that justice occurs, and provide an opportunity for something good to come from a horrific act.

While we don’t know all the facts, it is commonly known that people who commit violence towards women are often already hiding in plain sight. It is the escalation of their behaviour and violence which forces society to act, but all too often it is too late.

“Often a perpetrator’s attitudes and behaviour will be known to their mates,” says White Ribbon Manager Rob McCann. “Unfortunately we excuse unacceptable behaviour or look the other way because we have this idea that’s how men are supposed to behave.”

“We are socialised to believe we should score girls, mimic pornography and treat women as conquests rather than human beings. This behaviour is seen by some as manly, but ultimately, it’s unhealthy and bad for both men and women.”

“If there’s one lesson we can learn from the memory of Grace Millane, it’s that doing nothing is not acceptable, says Mr McCann.

If you hear someone say something disrespectful or displaying 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.

“Having a courageous talk with your mates can not only save a life,” says Mr McCann, “it can prevent a whole range of behaviour from rape to casual sexism, undermining the attitudes that underpin violence towards women.”


White Ribbon Media
Nancy Blackler 0272 425 318
Rob McCann 021 212 2953
Spokespeople: Rob McCann, Mark Longley, Richie Hardcore, Anna Campbell, Karlene Jonkers

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 

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


Notes from The Courier Mail

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

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

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

He has repeatedly denied the claims.

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

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

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