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White Ribbon Day - SDHB

Wednesday 25 November 2009

White Ribbon Day

Southland District Health Board staff are wearing white ribbon t-shirts at Southland Hospital today, in an effort to send the Southland community the message that family violence is not acceptable.

White Ribbon day, which is held on 25 November each year, has been designated by the United Nations as the International Day when people wear a white ribbon to show that they do not condone violence towards women.

This year Southland DHB, with support from the Family Violence Focus Group and funding from Te Rito, has purchased 200 white ribbon t-shirts for staff to wear. Southland Hospital is also promoting zero tolerance to family violence with display information featured throughout the hospital with information on services and agencies where people can seek help.

Southland DHB Family Violence and Child Protection Co-ordinator Nicola Hillis says family violence is a wide spread problem that doesn’t just effect women but also all family members.

“On average 14 women, six men and ten children are killed by a member of their family every year,” she says.

New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse statistics report that one in three women experience physical or sexual violence from a partner in their lifetime (WHO study in Auckland and Waikato) and 14% of men report being assaulted by a partner in their lifetime (NZ Crime and Safety Survey 2006).

The statistics also show that 523 women and 53 men were admitted to New Zealand hospitals in 2006 due to assault or abuse by their partner, along with 239 children under 15 who were admitted due to assault, abuse or neglect. Statistics show 156 people over 65 years old were admitted due to assault, abuse or neglect.

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“Violence is a choice, not an accident for perpetrator and for victims sometimes it just becomes a way of life, the power and control cycle is just too strong for them to break alone,” says Ms Hillis.

“It is important to realise that it takes a community along with family, neighbours, and friends to speak up and support those who experience family violence and Southland DHB staff are part of that community.”

ENDS

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