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Message from Bonnie Fordham Child Protection Coordinator
November 25 is White Ribbon Day, the official day of the campaign led by men who condemn violence against women and take action. It is part of a global campaign committed to ending violence against women.
Violence is endemic within New Zealand. One in three women are victims of violence from a partner, while on average 14 women are killed each year by a member of their own family.
You can help effect change wearing a white ribbon as a personal pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.
The White Ribbon campaign in New Zealand is a meld of the White Ribbon Day movement in Canada and the United Nations international day for Elimination of Violence Against Women.
The campaign is driven by community groups in towns and cities throughout New Zealand and White Ribbon Day events and activities are being increasingly supported by businesses, cultural groups, sporting teams, local government, and a wide range of community and government agencies.
In 1991 the first White Ribbon Campaign was launched by a group of men in Canada after the brutal mass shooting of 14 female students at the University of Montreal.
In 2006, the Families Commission embraced White Ribbon Day as part of its work to raise awareness of family violence and encourage social change in New Zealand. The Commission joined Women’s Refuge, National Network of Stopping Violence Services, Amnesty International, Human Rights Commission, YWCA, YMCA, Save the Children, and Relationship Services in promoting the campaign. The Commission provides much of the funding and the project management for the campaign in New Zealand. In 2008 they were joined by the Ministry of Health, Police, ACC, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Social Development.
In 2008, one in 10 New Zealanders wore a white ribbon – with over 500,000 distributed around the country.
If you or someone you know has been affected by family violence please see the following resources: