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White Ribbon Day Message not just for ‘Jake the Muss’

White Ribbon Day Message not just for ‘Jake the Muss’

On the 6th of December, 1999, a man walked onto the University of Montreal Campus, and shot 14 women dead. In response to this massacre, the White Ribbon Day Campaign was formed to raise awareness and to encourage men to be a part of the solution to ending violence towards women.

This White Ribbon Day, Shine is encouraging New Zealanders to recognise that domestic violence is not always committed by ‘Jake the muss.’

Interestingly, many men who attend a stopping violence programme are ‘your everyday normal guy’ as portrayed in the ‘It’s not OK’ campaign.

Aaron Steedman, Shine No Excuses Programme Coordinator says,

“Society needs to start viewing perpetrators of domestic abuse outside of the stereotype of ‘Jake the muss.’ Many forms of emotional and physical abuse cause fear, suffering and anxiety for people we care about -- our friends, sisters, wives and daughters.”

Stopping violence programmes invite all men who use abusive behaviour to take responsibility for this behaviour and understand the impact on their victims.

“We encourage men to talk about the relationship between their beliefs, thoughts, feelings and violence. Most men have managed to convince themselves that their violence is about losing control. The programme helps these men understand that their violence is actually about gaining control over others,” says Aaron.

“Once they understand that they are in control, it can free them to consciously decide that they no longer want to continue using violent behaviour.”

Research shows that group programmes are more effective than individual counselling at developing ideas, attitudes and behaviours which support respectful, safe and caring relationships with partners, children and family members.

Stopping violence programmes need to become part of a larger community effort to prevent domestic abuse in all of its forms in order for more men to voluntarily participate in these programmes.

For most men who are abusive towards a partner or ex-partner, the hardest part of beginning the process of change is stepping through the door of a stopping violence programme and talking about their abusive behaviour.

However, most men who take this step are surprised to find, by sharing their stories, that they are not alone and there are many men on the same journey.

If you are worried about your behaviour with a partner or family member and want to make positives changes in your life to cultivate respectful relationships with the people you care about, we are here to help you:


Shine is New Zealand’s leading provider of services working to stop domestic abuse. We help woman, children and men get out of the cycle of family violence and give the chance of a better, happier, safer future.


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