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“We Need Men to Be Our Allies”: Women’s Refuge


MEDIA RELEASE – 25 November 2008

“We Need Men to Be Our Allies,” says Women’s Refuge

Women’s Refuge Chief Executive, Heather Henare, has called upon men to stand up against domestic violence. This morning she spoke a gathering of men at a White Ribbon Day breakfast event in Wellington.

“We need men to be our allies,” she said.

“We are often called upon to stand up for women publicly and to comment on issues that relate to the safety of women,”

“Too often it may seem that we are engaged in a gender war. It may seem sometimes as if the battle is between men and women. But I want to say to you today, domestic violence is not a women’s issue. It’s a human rights issue - a community issue.”

“It’s time for unity. It’s time for whole communities to start saying It’s not OK.”

She spoke of the increased demand on services at Women’s Refuge. “We took 49,500 calls on our crisis lines in the last year. That’s one every 11 minutes.”

“Imagine what the leadership, vision and commitment of strong, non-violent men might do to transform our communities.”

Ms Henare acknowledged the men in attendance for their participation, saying, “I would like to honour all you men who have put yourselves forward by owning your own violence and have stepped up, or more appropriately ‘manned up’. You have my respect and the respect of women throughout the country. I applaud you.”

For further information, or to arrange an interview with Heather Henare, contact Sarah Pomeroy, Communications Adviser, Women’s Refuge


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