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White Ribbon Day, Nov 25th

News Release Embargoed until 25 November 2009

White Ribbon Day, Nov 25th

 

On  White Ribbon Day  shine*, New Zealand’s largest Domestic Violence agency, urge men to speak out against violence towards women.

24 November 2009, AUCKLAND:  White Ribbon Day, held each year on 25 November, is a global initiative when people are encouraged to wear a white ribbon to show zero tolerance towards violence against women. The campaign is particularly aimed at men to underline the message that domestic violence is never acceptable.

For every one in five men who are abusive in New Zealand, there are four others who are not. shine* is reaching out to these men to act as role models to show that it’s not ok to be violent towards women and children.

shine* has a dedicated NATIONAL helpline, 0508 DV HELP (384 357), for people who are worried about violent behaviour.  Anyone can call this number to get advice and support about a friend or family member who they suspect is threatened or unsafe.

Domestic violence is a major problem in this country. In 2007/8 there were 86,545 cases of domestic violence reported to the police. This equates to 235 incidents per day.  However NZ Police estimates this is only 18 per cent of the true incidence.

Aaron Steedman, Men’s Stopping Violence Programme Coordinator for shine* says: “We want to give men the tools to help when they see something is wrong. Domestic violence thrives under a clock of secrecy, so acting promptly could save someone’s life.”  

Family violence rates in New Zealand are soaring. Police statistics show the increase in reported family violence went up 15 per cent in the last year, on top of a 28.8 per cent increase the previous year.

Aaron Steedman continues: “The silver lining to these appalling figures is less people are tolerating domestic abuse and more are reporting family violence as a crime, instead of shrugging it off as not their problem.

 “White Ribbon Day is a great day for us to acknowledge the majority of New Zealand men in our community who are non- violent – but we cannot ignore the fact that far too many men across the country continue to abuse and commit violence towards women,” says Steedman.

ENDS

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