The White Ribbon campaign to end men’s violence against women is being launched in Taupō with Mayor Rick Cooper endorsing Taupō’s community response.
Mr Cooper says he fully supports the White Ribbon campaign to stand against domestic violence. “It’s never okay to hurt a woman,” Mr Cooper says. “This campaign is a great way for us to stand against violence against women. Every man, every human being, should support it. It’s a serious problem in New Zealand and there needs to be greater awareness.”
The 2012 White Ribbon Campaign was launched throughout New Zealand this month with a number of mayors putting their signatures on a pledge to never commit or condone or remain silent about violence toward women. The signatures will be displayed on 25 November on the international White Ribbon Day.
On average, 14 women die and over 3,500 men are convicted for assaults on women every year nationally. “Those women are our mothers, daughters, sisters, female workmates and friends. As a community, we have to take responsibility to end the violence,” Mr Cooper says.
Mr Cooper says discouraging this sort of violence starts in the community and the White Ribbon campaign is a chance to talk about the issues openly and honestly.
The White Ribbon Pledge is one of a number of initiatives organised by the Families Commission-led White Ribbon campaign. The pledge brings together New Zealanders throughout the country in a united show of support to end violence against women. As this support grows for a violence-free future, the White Ribbon campaign hopes to encourage men to take a stand and show they are man enough to end violence. To sign the pledge, simply visit www.whiteribbon.org.nz.
“We want this campaign to talk to people that are outside the tent,” says Chief Families Commissioner, Carl Davidson. “There are many passionate people throughout the country working to reduce violence, but we need to connect with the many good men that simply don’t believe this problem affects them.”
“While there’s no violence in my family, I could easily say this issue doesn’t affect me. But I have two daughters, and one day, I might have grandchildren. I don’t need any other reason to make ending violence against women my responsibility. And that goes for nearly every man I know. We all have women in our lives, and to shrug our shoulders and say this violence only affects others is a cop out.”
“By standing up and not remaining passive bystanders, we can influence our friends, our mates and work colleagues. Are we man enough to stop violence towards women – I’d like to think so,” says Mr Davidson.