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White Ribbon Day – Chance for Personal Reflection

24 November 2006

Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families Media Release
For Immediate Release

White Ribbon Day – Opportunity for Personal Reflection

"White Ribbon Day offers the opportunity for us to personally reflect on our family relationships and examine if we are each doing enough to ensure that those we care about are happy and safe," said Peter Hughes, Chairman of the Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families.

White Ribbon Day tomorrow is the United Nation's international day for the elimination of the violence against women. Events are planned throughout the country and many New Zealanders including Taskforce members will be wearing a white ribbon to publicly show their commitment to ending violence against women, including family violence.

"Everyone has the right to be safe and respected. Unfortunately too many women in New Zealand have had their lives blighted by the impact of family violence. We need to do more to help families have successful happy relationships free from violence," said Peter Hughes.

The Taskforce is making good progress on its action plan to address all forms of family violence. This includes:
• Work underway to establish dedicated Family Violence Courts in Wellington and Auckland.
• Delivery of new family violence training for lawyers by the New Zealand Law Society.
• Funding a four year nationwide campaign to change attitudes and behaviour towards family violence.
• Work underway to improve family violence service capacity and capability including addressing multi-year contracts, new funding models and transparent costing tools.
• Work to understand the portrayal of violence in the media and its impact on society.
• A new fund for community initiatives to reduce and prevent family violence.

The Taskforce includes chief executives of key government departments and community organisations, the Commissioner of Police, the Chief District Court Judge, the Principal Family Court Judge, the Children's Commissioner and Chief Families Commissioner.

"Our Taskforce report stresses that actions are needed at all levels and across all communities to end family violence. Wearing a white ribbon this week and getting involved in local White Ribbon Day events are immediate actions that everyone can take to show that all violence against women is unacceptable," said Peter Hughes.

ENDS

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