Rib­bons of change mak­ing an im­pact

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

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.

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