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White Ribbon Releases #OurHouseRules Campaign

White Ribbon has released an online campaign to help prevent family violence and encourage New Zealanders to practice Respectful Relationships.

“In an unprecedented national emergency, everyone in New Zealand has found themselves cooped up inside for the COVID-19 lockdown period”, says White Ribbon Manager Rob McCann. “In any household, ‘cabin fever’ creates tension - but it becomes a huge risk for families with a history of domestic violence, and organisations such as Women’s Refuge and the New Zealand Police are concerned.”

To continue our messaging about Respectful Relationships, White Ribbon have come up with #ourhouserules - simple behaviours to create a safe and happy lockdown for everyone. It creates a platform to talk about positive behaviours in the home, and helps us reach out to vulnerable families.

“There are three sets of images to convey the messages to families,” says Mr McCann. “We will be posting these online and asking our thousands of supporters, White Ribbon Ambassadors and Riders, as well as community organisations and businesses to share them with family, friends and workplaces.”

“With everyone confined together, it’s especially important to remind men who struggle to control their emotions that they can choose alternative behaviours,” says Mr McCann. “The focus is on making decisions that create safer and happier environments for our partners and children. We’re encouraging everyone to think about their house rules, and check in with their friends and family to see how they’re doing in these challenging times.”

If you are experiencing family violence contact Women’s Refuge on 0800 733 843 or Shine* on 0508-744-633. If you are in immediate danger, call 111 and ask for the police.

Stay at home – but stay connected.
Noho takitahi, engari, tūhono tonu.

There are so many ways we can stay in touch these days - from the classic phone call, a simple txt, to video calls and online games. It’s important that we stay connected, even if we’re in isolation. If you feel like you’re getting overwhelmed or angry – call a mate you trust to vent and talk it through. Give your partner some time out to have a coffee or a cuppa with a mate over a video call. Set up a video call with the kids and their grandparents, cousins or friends. And if you’re concerned about someone in a bad situation, reach out and ask how they’re going. Emergency services and refuges are essential services that are always available, lockdown or not. Contact Women’s Refuge on 0800 733 843 or Shine* on 0508-744-633. If you are in immediate danger, call 111 and ask for the police. If you think you are going to harm a loved one, reach out and call - 0800 HEY BRO.

Not scared spaces – shared spaces.
Tē wāhi whakamataku, he wāhi manaaki kē

All of us have the right to feel safe, happy and cared for in our own homes. As families, we all get on each other’s nerves – even without a lockdown – but in these challenging times we need to look out for each other and make sure we’re creating positive places to spend time together. As parents, our kids learn their behaviour from us. Be respectful of your partner, be kind to your kids and together let’s create a space where we can say #ourhouserules! If you think you are going to harm a loved one, reach out and call - 0800 HEY BRO.

Don’t take it out on them – take a walk.
Kia kaua e riri, me hikoi ki te pai

While we’re in lockdown, it’s ok to go outside for fresh air and exercise. As long as we’re staying in our neighbourhood, and sticking to advice about keeping a 2-metre distance between us and others, we’re all good. If you find yourself getting frustrated, let your family know that you need to take a walk. Be respectful too – check how your partner is doing, maybe they could use some fresh air. If the kids need to burn off some energy, take them for a bike around the block. Find ways to get outside and take that time out, but stick to the lockdown rules. If you think you are going to harm a loved one, reach out and call - 0800 HEY BRO.

White Ribbon promotes Respectful Relationships to prevent domestic and sexual violence against women.

Respectful Relationships are based on:

  • Equality between men and women. Gender equity in personal relationships and all social spheres, reduces violence against women.
  • Flexible gender behaviour for all. Having men breaking out of the Man Box and choosing their own masculine identity prevents the use of violence.
  • Non-violent communication. Men being emotionally aware and expressive gives them alternatives to aggression.
  • Enthusiastic consent for all sexual activities. Having willing participation is crucial to preventing sexual violence.

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