Rotorua leads stand against violence
12 November 2012
Rotorua will be awash with white ribbons later this month as the city leads a national stand against family violence, hosting the national launch of the White Ribbon Ride at a great family event by the Lakeside.
Wearing the White Ribbon is a personal pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women and each year a host of events is held throughout November to reinforce that pledge.
The White Ribbon Ride has become an iconic part of that activity, led by the Patriots Defence Force Motorcycle Club, Te Ahi Kikoha and South Island Iwi; men willing to declare their opposition to violence and promote healthy relationships. The group rides across New Zealand visiting local communities and events asking the question "are you man enough to stop violence towards women?"
The Police are lending their full support to the campaign and to the lakeside event which will include live entertainment, speakers, a hangi, games, a white balloon release, and the chance to meet the riders and have a photo taken on a Harley.
Last week Rotorua Mayor Kevin Winters and Area Commander for Rotorua Police, Inspector Bruce Horne launched Rotorua’s response to the White Ribbon campaign by signing a pledge to do everything they could to prevent violence against women.
Inspector Horne said: "I am convinced that family violence prevention is one of the most important activities we can be engaged with as part of our overall effort to reduce crime and make our community safer.
"I ask every one of my team to reflect on what more they personally can do to prevent and reduce the problem of family violence, and I urge everyone in the community to do the same. It's a privilege for us to be involved in the launch of the national activity. I am sure there are men within our local community who recognise that they use violence as a way of controlling women. This event provides them with an ideal opportunity, and an informal and anonymous environment, to come and see what support is available to help them take the first step towards positive change."
The event takes place between 9.30am and 12.30pm on Saturday, 17 November on the lakefront Village Green.
Remember violence is not OK, but it is OK to ask for help, so if you are the victim of violence or you know someone who is being abused speak out. If you or someone you know are in immediate danger call 111. Women's Refuge Crisis Line also offers a 24hr helpline service on 0800 REFUGE.
There are a number of other national and local support services that can provide useful help and advice.
For more information about where to get help and how you can help if you know someone affected by family violence go to www.areyouok.org.nz
or call 0800 456 450.