Men urged to pledge to fight violence
Vowing never to commit or remain silent about domestic violence will be the focus of the White Ribbon motorcycle ride when it rolls into Taranaki tomorrow.
The ride, organised by the Families Commission, forms part of the national campaign to raise awareness of, and support for, the anti-violence initiative.
White Ribbon campaign manager Rob McCann said this year it would include messages about non-physical violence.
"Non-physical violence can leave scars which no-one can see and that affect your whole personality," he said.
"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.
"We want men to understand how devastating non-physical violence can be and ensure they do not remain silent when witnessing such behaviour."
The riders will stop off at Hawera Intermediate, Manaia Primary School and Stratford's Avon School on Wednesday before heading to New Plymouth by 1.45pm.
White Ribbon rider Aaron Morrison said some men needed to be shown the way.
"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 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.
"No-one, especially women and children, should have to experience violence."
Taranaki Safe Families co-ordinator Marion James said between 2000 and 2004, 56 women were murdered in family violence incidents.
More than half the calls received at Taranaki police stations were about family violence.
"With the high prevalence of family violence in New Zealand and our very high murder rate, we all have a role to play to stop violence when we know or suspect it's affecting someone we know."
On Friday, a White Ribbon street relay will be held in Devon St West between Currie and Brougham St at noon.
One in three women will experience partner violence at some time in their lives.
On average, 14 women are killed by their partners or ex-partners in New Zealand each year.
More than 3500 convictions are recorded against men each year for assaults on women.
Only 20 per cent of abuse cases are reported.
Taranaki Daily News