Riders' tough message
Bikers will put on their leathers and jump in the saddle tomorrow in a demonstration against domestic violence.
The White Ribbon ride, organised by the Families Commission, is part of the November campaign to raise awareness of anti-violence initiatives.
Riders led by members of the Patriots Defence Force Motorcycle Club and Maori anti-violence campaigners Te Ahi Kikoha will pass through the North Shore on the final leg of their journey from Bluff to Whangarei.
North Shore Family Violence Prevention Network co-ordinator Deb Humphries says it is an opportunity for men to stand up and show violence towards women must stop.
"The North Shore has experienced the tragic and high profile loss of teenager Christie Marceau and there have been others less well known. We do not want there to be any more. We want attitudes to change and our local men to lead this change," she says.
Fourteen women are killed each year and there are 3500 convictions against men for assaults on women, according to the Families Commission.
Commission White Ribbon campaign manager Rob McCann says taking action can be as simple as listening to stories of violence and voicing your objection to it.
"We also need to influence the men around us by making it known that we will not condone or remain silent about violent behaviour," he says.
"It's a very powerful combination when delivered by tough looking guys who have served New Zealand, often in dangerous situations as peacekeepers in war zones."
Anyone can join the ride provided they have a current licence, a warranted bike and are willing to make the pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women.
Go to whiteribbon.org.nz for more information.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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