Silent protest against family violence
Churches call public to join silent protest against family violence
Plant a white ribbon to protest family violence on White Ribbon Day, 25 November
Two Auckland churches are imploring members of the public to plant white ribbons in their grounds from 23 to 25 November in a silent protest against family violence.
St Luke’s Presbyterian Church, in Remuera, and Greenlane Presbyterian Church are hosting the display to support White Ribbon Day on 25 November – a national day to raise awareness of violence against women.
In a project similar to the millions of poppies currently placed on the grounds of the Tower of London to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, the churches hope that their grounds will be covered in white ribbons and send a clear message to the public that violence in families is not okay.
Both churches are already displaying banners with the message “Love is not Violent”.
The Auckland churches are among six that are partnering with social services provider Presbyterian Support Northern in the project. The charitable organisation provides support for children and families affected by family violence through its Family Works services.
Volunteer members of the Manukau Beautification Trust attached more than 3000 small plastic white ribbons to short stakes for distribution to churches in Auckland, Northland and the Bay of Plenty.
Anne Overton, Community Advocate for Presbyterian Support Northern, said planting ribbons is a simple act that everyone can participate in.
“It’s such an easy way to make a powerful statement about family violence. Planting white ribbons together is a great way to unite people and to have those conversations about a major issue in our communities,” she said.
The Reverend Glynn Cardy, Minister at St Luke’s, says that while White Ribbon Day usually focuses on violence against women, the church wants to stand up against any form of abuse.
“For a long time, St Luke’s has promoted the values of wellbeing, cooperation and community. So violence and abuse, as the opposite of those values, are something we want to take a stand against. We also want to offer help to those who are violated and abused and communicate to the community that this is a place of healing,” he said.
Rev Ben Dykman said Greenlane Presbyterian also wanted to make a clear stand against all forms of family violence.
“This endemic problem has been ignored for too long. If allowed to continue, it will seed itself in the lives of children who will in turn perpetuate the cycle of violence. We believe the home should be a sanctuary where the love of Jesus Christ is lived out, not a battleground of abuse and violence. Let’s stand together for a safer and better New Zealand,” he said.
White ribbons on stakes will be available from 23 to 25 November for planting outside St Luke’s Presbyterian Church, 130 Remuera Rd, and Greenlane Presbyterian Church, on the corner of Great South Rd and Greenlane Rd.