Friday, July 30

WHITE RIBBON RIDE SET TO RUMBLE

Ric Odom and his Goldwing
The White Ribbon Ride in November will visit more than 40 towns in the North Island on a road trip to help end violence towards women.

The motorcycle ride, organised by the Families Commission as part of the White Ribbon campaign, will start in Tauranga and travel south through the centre of the North Island to Wellington and then north via eastern and western routes to Auckland and Bream Bay, visiting some 40 local communities.

“I’m delighted that the ride is being supported by motorcycle enthusiasts,” says Rob McCann who coordinates the White Ribbon Campaign for the Families Commission. “The inaugural ride in 2009 was fantastic and the riders were met with enthusiasm, and a few too many sausages, whereever they went. I’m sure that the positive experience from 2009 is why we have so many riders asking for ‘ride 10’ details.

“During the last few years New Zealand has seen a growing intolerance of violence and this has been reinforced by the ‘It’s Not OK’ and White Ribbon campaigns. This rejection of family violence, and specifically violence against women, has led to increased reporting and is also reflected by the increasing number of communities taking part in White Ribbon Day activities,” says Mr McCann.

“I was recently asked why White Ribbon Day was a call to men? The answer is simple. Men want to be part of the solution. This is an opportunity to show leadership and create role models for the next generation, and in doing so, break the cycle of violence.”

By offering an activity that speaks to other men, the ride can engage with communities in a way that is exciting and creates attention.

Ric Odom, owner of a Honda Gold Wing, National CEO for the YMCA and a member of the White Ribbon organising committee, participated in the White Ribbon Ride last year and encouraged some of his YMCA colleagues to join him. He says, “I had a great experience last year. Not only did I get to ride my bike for more than 800 kilometres, I had a real feeling that we contributed to making New Zealand a better place. At each location we were met by communities that were excited that men were making a stand against violence.

“Powerful bikes equal a powerful message, but we need riders to join us and show that men do care about our communities, our homes and our families. All violence is unacceptable. The ride is the perfect opportunity to show we’re against violence towards women.”

For further information about the White Ribbon Ride visit http://www.whiteribbon.org.nz/

Key Messages:
No violence within families is tolerable. If someone within the family is being frightened or intimidated by the behaviour of someone else, it is not OK. Violence isn’t just the physical, it’s also emotional or verbal behaviour used to control someone through fear. Things we say, or don’t say, contribute to the abuse.
White Ribbon Day is the international day when people, particularly men, wear a white ribbon to show they won’t tolerate, condone or remain silent about violence against women.
It originated as a men’s movement in Canada and is now part of the United Nations annual calendar (International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women). The Families Commission took a leadership role in New Zealand in 2006.
Whether you are a father, brother, uncle, granddad or cousin – we all want to keep our families safe. We all want our children to grow up and have happy healthy relationships.
By simply wearing a white ribbon you can make it clear to other men that you do not tolerate violence against women.
You can also make sure your home, your business or your sports club is a safe environment where abusive behaviour is not tolerated.
The White Ribbon Day campaign encourages men to talk openly about family violence, to support men who want to change their abusive behaviour and to challenge comments, statements and actions by men that are abusive.

Statistics in New Zealand
In New Zealand most violence towards women takes place in the home.
In violence between couples, it is men’s violence that is most likely to cause serious physical or psychological harm.
An average of 14 women a year are killed by their partners or ex partners.
There are over 3500 convictions recorded against men each year for assaults on women.
One in three women will experience partner violence at some point in their lives.

The Families Commission and White Ribbon Committee works with multiple agencies and NGOs to coordinate the national campaign. The White Ribbon campaign complements but is separate to the family violence It’s Not OK campaign.

The White Ribbon Ride
The White Ribbon Ride is now into its second year. The structure of the ride is significantly different to that of 2009, with one ride travelling south on State Highway One and then two rides travelling north via eastern and western routes. The ride is led by the Super Maori Fullas (Mervyn, Roger and Mahu Rawiri) and the Patriots Defence Force Motorcycle Club whose members are former or serving members of the armed forces or police.
For further information about the ride visit www.whiteribbon.org.nz

Rules include:
No alcohol or drugs are permitted on the ride
No patches
Must have motorcycle of 250cc or greater
Must agree to the pledge that ‘Wearing a white ribbon is a personal pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women’

The Pledge
Wearing a white ribbon is a personal pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.