A team of motorcycle riders will roar into Blenheim on Saturday as part of a nine-day ride to promote an end to violence towards women.
It is a key White Ribbon project organised by the Families Commission to encourage men to take action and end unacceptable levels of violence towards women.
Led by the Patriots Defence Force Motorcycle Club, a group of present and former military personnel, the White Ribbon Riders will arrive at the corner of State Highway 1 and SH6 in Blenheim at 1pm on Saturday. People will have the opportunity to meet and chat to the riders. It will also be an opportunity to check out the bikes and for children to have a ride.
Patriots spokesman Donald Napier said the riders knew men wanted to live non-violent lives, but sometimes they needed to be shown how. "It's no different from bringing up your own children - they learn by watching their parents. We hope to talk directly to those men who want to stand up and lead a movement of non-violence. If you're a perpetrator of violence, it's no walk in the park to make changes to your life. To achieve this you need the support of your mates and your family.
"By talking about our own experiences, both violent and peaceful, we want to help all men accept that it's our responsibility to end this violence and give them some tools to bring about change."
Families Commission White Ribbon campaign manager Rob McCann said the campaign had been talking about physical violence for a couple of years and it was fair to say most men understood how wrong it was to use their fists. "What is less well understood are the effects of non-physical violence.
"Non-physical violence can leave scars which no-one can see . . . It's hard to comprehend that violence can have that effect, but women will tell you, bruises and bones can heal while the effects of fear can last a lifetime."
Are you still in touch with your date from your school formal?Related story: (See story)