What are WE going to do about the violence?

Kāpiti has had to deal with a great deal of violent behaviour in recent times, including two incidents that led to the deaths of two of our young people. It seems there is still much work to be done to change the mindset of many.

Last week New Zealanders had a wakeup call witnessing the misogynistic attitudes of a group of young men which led to an alleged rape, an act of terrible violence towards women.

“These attitudes are epidemic in our country,” says White Ribbon Chair Judge Boshier. “They result in the 3,500 convictions against men for assaults on women and the ultimately cost the lives of 14 women a year who are killed by their partners or ex-partners.

White Ribbon is the largest male led anti-violence campaign in the world and aims to end men’s violence towards women. This year the campaign is focusing on getting men to take action.

“To end this violence we need to demonstrate to men that this violent behaviour is no longer acceptable,” says Judge Boshier. “Join the White Ribbon Ambassadors and thousands of other men as we take The Pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women.

The Pledge is a simple statement and when taken the men 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

“While most men are not violent, most violence is perpetrated by men,” says Judge Boshier. “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 Roastbuster group is an example of behaviour that was allowed to continue, drawing in other young men and encouraging further repugnant behaviour.

“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, for our mothers, our daughters, our colleagues, our friends and our partners we need to take a stand, and it starts with The Pledge.