White Ribbon is an international movement that began after the murder of 14 women in Canada. Its focus is to change attitudes and behaviours around men's violence towards women. This year, the campaign will focus on asking men to take The Pledge and encouraging them to build it into their daily lives.
"I'm proud to take this pledge and demonstrate my commitment to ending this violence," says Mayor Jono Naylor. "Violence must be eliminated. It destroys lives and prevents the most vulnerable in our society from participating in our communities."
The Pledge asks men to never 'commit, condone or remain silent' about violence towards women. When men take The Pledge, they are provided with resources to help them take action and change attitudes and behaviours. The Pledge lets men know that thousands of New Zealanders have got their back, and support their decision to help make Aotearoa a violence-free country. The Pledge can be taken online at www.whiteribbon.org.nz
"We can all influence those around us, and saving just one life, preventing just one woman from being hospitalised or one child from experiencing violence would make the campaign worthwhile.
"I urge everyone to take The Pledge. If we all take responsibility to reduce the appalling levels of violence in our society, we can and we will make a difference," says Mayor Naylor.
Judge Boshier, White Ribbon Chair agrees. "While most men are not violent, most violence is perpetrated by men. We know that one of the best ways to change behaviour is to change social norms. Right now, far too many people still think that violence is acceptable. And in too many cases, their friends and colleagues don't speak up. It is that silence that leads men to believe violence is okay.
"The time for looking away is over. I'm promoting this pledge because if we all take responsibility for this serious problem, we can change both attitudes and behaviour. For too long I've seen the results of family violence in the courts, for our mothers, our daughters, our colleagues, our friends and our partners - we need to take a stand and it starts with The Pledge.