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Giant White Ribbon Unveiled

Media release
Tuesday 20 December 2010

Giant White Ribbon Unveiled

A giant white ribbon bringing together signatures from all over New Zealand endorsing non violence is now on display at Auckland City Hospital.

As part of the White Ribbon Campaign coordinated by the Families Commission, many New Zealanders, including Prime Minister John Key, have pledged never to condone, or remain silent about violence towards women, by signing one of 60 pledge sheets. These sheets have now been sewn together to form a giant white ribbon.

Chief Families Commission Carl Davidson welcomes the community support: “Throughout the country, people have mobilised around the White Ribbon Campaign, organising events and leading discussions about family violence. The thousands of signatures on display represent the desire of our communities to live free of violence.”

Recently released data by the Ministry of Justice indicates a substantial drop in the number of people experiencing partner violence in New Zealand. The survey evidence suggests that not only are people more willing to report partner violence, but that the actual incidence of confrontational offences by partners has fallen from 22 crimes per 100 adults in 2005, to 14 per 100 in 2008.

“But we cannot rest on our laurels,” says Mr Davidson. “This year’s White Ribbon Campaign was the largest to date with key activities including the White Ribbon Motorcycle Ride which visited over 40 towns throughout the North Island, the family violence play Hush, White Ribbon breakfasts in Wellington, Auckland and Parliament, where Minister Turia called upon MPs for cross party support, a White Ribbon Breakers game and the Michael Kaufman workshops on working with men and boys.”

“A very important component of the campaign has been to encourage prominent men to take up leadership roles, as our research shows that men listen to men. The nomination of White Ribbon Ambassadors such as Ruben Wiki has helped to reinforce the understanding that real men do not condone violence in their families. That message was further endorsed by Prime Minister John Key, who not only signed the pledge, but accepted a nomination to become a White Ribbon Ambassador.”

“This level of commitment from the very top will encourage other men to pledge that they won’t tolerate, condone or remain silent about violence against women,” says Mr Davidson.

ENDS

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