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Positive message for Politicians

White Ribbon serves up positive message to Politicians

Politicians were served a message about White Ribbon by the Families Commission over breakfast in Parliament Buildings.

With more than 54,000 reported family violence offences and 54 family violence murders in New Zealand in the year to 30 June 2010, it’s no surprise that respondents to a recent survey of what issues Kiwis are most concerned about, ranked family violence as the single most important social issue they want to see progress on.

“The effects of Family Violence are far reaching and across all of New Zealand regardless of ethnicity, location and wealth,” says Chief Families Commissioner, Carl Davison. “It will take many many years to eliminate. We need both cross party support and political leadership from all our MPs to tackle the scourge that inflicts so much misery in our homes.”

The breakfast for politicians came about following a discussion with Minister Turia on how to build political consensus.

“The White Ribbon Campaign has focused on men talking to men in ways that men understand, and we felt it this was a terrific opportunity to let our members of Parliament know how they can work with White Ribbon,” says Mr Davidson.

“One way of achieving effective change is to raise awareness and encourage action to decrease our nation’s tolerance of violence, and increase the willingness of witnesses, perpetrators and victims to report incidents and seek help.

“To do this we need assistance from our political leaders and respected men with influence and profile who can lead by example, showing that respectful relationships and a rejection of violence are values worth emulating. Men such as Ruben Wiki, or the new White Ribbon Ambassador, Stan Walker, who in order to strengthen the lives of others, are willing to talk about the turmoil that family violence wreaked upon his family,” says Mr Davidson.

Speaking at the breakfast, White Ribbon Ambassador Alfred Ngaro agreed. “Men are very much a part of the solution. But it’s not just about high profile men. All men can be part of the answer by providing the leadership needed so our families can grow and develop without experiencing the harmful effects of violence.”

The White Ribbon Campaign begins an increased period of activity with The White Ribbon Ride leaving Tauranga on Saturday while communities across New Zealand begin to host events and activities aimed at raising awareness and encouraging people to take action.

A full list of activities can be found at www.whiteribbon.org.nz

ENDS

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