March targets violence

00:00, Dec 02 2013

A soggy start did not dampen the spirits of about 50 women, men and children who took part in a Stop Violence Against Women march from the city to Tahunanui.

The Saturday morning walk was jointly held by Soroptimist International of Nelson and Waimea, and Te Rito Network, starting from Nelson's 1903 Square and ending at the Tahunanui Playground.

Soroptimist Joy Oakly said the rain and wind hit just after Nelson president Rachael Taylor and Mayor Rachel Reese had spoken at the 1903 Square.

By the time the marchers reached Haven Rd the paint on some of the banners had run so much they had to be abandoned.

"Fortunately, our banners from last year coped with the rain and we were able to been seen as we walked to Tahunanui," Ms Oakley said.

At Tahunanui there were speeches by city councillor Matt Lawrey and Soroptimists' New Zealand president Annette Smith. Soroptimists, a women's service club, has a goal to eliminate violence against women and girls and ensure women's participation in conflict resolution. Its part on Saturday's walk slotted in with the Walk the Talk campaign to end violence against women and girls during the 16 days of United Nations advocacy from November 25 to December 10.

The Nelson Tasman Te Rito Family Violence Network aims to work collaboratively to enhance and restore the mana of family and whanau in a violence-free environment.

The two groups hailed the way they worked together on Saturday's event. "The purpose of the walk is to draw attention to the issues surrounding violence against women, men, children, friend and families. We all have responsibility to speak up against these issues by raising awareness and supporting organisations that work in this field," they said.