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Major increase in public support for White Ribbon campaign

Media release

30 November 2012

Major increase in public support for White Ribbon campaign

The White Ribbon Campaign 2012 has received unprecedented public support with over 230 community events coordinated nationwide; however there is still much work to be done says Chief Families Commissioner, Carl Davidson.

The White Ribbon Campaign, which runs during November, is led by men, for men. It’s about changing attitudes and behaviours around men’s violence towards women – whether physical or psychological, it is unacceptable.

Mr Davidson says: “The White Ribbon message is clear – it’s about men not committing, condoning, or remaining silent about violence towards women. It’s a call to men everywhere to stand up among their peers and signal their opposition towards violence towards women wherever they see it. That takes real courage – and all too often men fail to challenge other men’s abusive behaviour.”

This year’s regional approach was reinforced by the White Ribbon Motorcycle Ride that visited over 80 communities throughout the country with riders speaking about what it means to be involved in a safe relationship.

2012 also saw a focus on regional leadership with more than 50 Mayors, from Bluff to Kaitaia, signing up to the White Ribbon pledge.

However, despite the success of the White Ribbon Campaign, New Zealand’s family violence statistics are still climbing. In this country one in three women will experience partner violence at some point in their lives.

According to the Family Violence Death Review 2004-2011; 14 women on average are killed by their partners or ex-partners in New Zealand each year, with over 3,500 convictions recorded against men each year for assaults on women.

“Real change happens when behaviours change. That’s what the White Ribbon Campaign is about – changing men’s behaviour as much as their attitudes. By taking the White Ribbon Pledge in front of friends and family, men are publicly stating to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women.”

“It’s not a pledge to be taken lightly, and it’s a commitment that lasts not for White Ribbon Day, or during White Ribbon Week, but for every day and the rest of their lives.”

White Ribbon 2012 campaign facts:

· Over 500,000 ribbons were distributed throughout the country

· Approximately 80,000 visits to the White Ribbon website in 2012, an average of 240 per day

· Over 7,000 Facebook friends with a reach that has exceeded 1.7 million people in 2012

· 80 communities visited by the White Ribbon Riders

· Over 50 White Ribbon Ambassadors speaking out publicly against violence towards women

· 237 community events in 2012, which represents a 20% increase from 2011

For more information about the White Ribbon Campaign visit www.whiteribbon.org.nz

ENDS

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