Ribbons of change making an impact
Communities are encouraged to stand up against violence towards women, by getting behind the annual White Ribbon Campaign.
The month-long initiative starts on Saturday and includes a parade co-ordinated by Waves Trust on November 28. This year’s campaign focuses on encouraging men to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women.
Family Action chairwoman and councillor, Linda Cooper, says initiatives including Westie Dads, Focus on Fathering and the animated DVD Jade Speaks Up, all run by Violence Free Waitakere, help pave the way for positive change.
‘‘Many community groups are working tirelessly to help victims of family violence and to support our men to become great fathers and positive role models,’’ she says.
Deputy mayor and Waves trustee, Penny Hulse, says West Aucklanders felt an ‘‘enormous sense of shock and sadness’’ after a series of violent deaths this year.
Ranui resident Farhat Malik and her daughter Sidra were stabbed to death in May. Malik’s husband Ishrat has been charged with murder.
Two days later Josh Roach was killed in a shootout in the same neighbourhood.
‘‘Then came the tragic deaths of Arun Kumar and Connor Morris, and we’ve had to work hard to find ways to make the west a safer place,’’ Hulse says. Kumar, a Henderson dairy owner, died after being stabbed in his shop in June and Massey resident Morris was killed in a fight in August.
White Ribbon Ambassador and former Waitakere City mayor Sir Bob Harvey says levels of family violence have dropped, but there’s more work to do with ‘‘ one in three women still experiencing partner violence at some point in their lives,’’ Harvey says.
Auckland Council’s new Henderson Safer Town Centre Plan launched last month aims to reinforce safer communities.
It will be overseen by the Henderson-Massey Local Board in partnership with the police.
Encouraging support: Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, left, former Waitakere City mayor Sir Bob Harvey and councillor Linda Cooper say the White Ribbon Campaign encourages communities to stand up against violence towards women and children.