The White Ribbon Riders made a lot of noise in the Porirua basin last week – and rightly so.
The convoy of motorcyclists visited 80 towns across the country in nine days, culminating in White Ribbon Day on Sunday, an initiative that aims to stop violence towards women.
‘‘We know that men want to live nonviolent lives, but sometimes they need to be shown how,’’ said White Ribbon Rider Aaron Morrison. ‘‘ We hope to talk directly to those men who want to stand up and lead a movement of nonviolence.’’
The motorcyclists visited Linden School and St Francis Xavier School in Tawa on Monday, November 19, before being welcomed by Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett under the canopies.
Linden’s principal, Christine Brown, said the leather-bound riders and their loud machines made an immediate impact when they arrived at the school.
‘‘It was so loud when they came in, all the kids ran out of the classrooms to meet them and see these beautiful bikes. The message they are spreading is important and our teachers will lead very good discussions in class.’’
Mr Leggett said he was proud he had led a White Ribbon Council, and the points being made, about the effect violence in the home could have on society, needed to be reinforced frequently.
On Tuesday last week, Maraeroa Marae hosted a men’s breakfast, with more than 100 attending.
The Families Commission’s White Ribbon campaign manager, Rob McCann, said the effects of non-physical violence also needed to be talked about.
‘‘Non-physical violence can leave scars which no one can see, and that affects your whole personality. Women will tell you that bruises and bones heal while the effects of fear can last a lifetime.
‘‘We want men to understand how devastating non-physical violence can be and ensure they do not remain silent when witnessing such behaviour.’’
The Riders are led by the Patriots Defence Force Motorcycle Club – made up of former and current armed services members – and anti- violence campaigners, Te Ahi Kikoha.
Loud visit: Members of the White Ribbon Riders with Linden School principal Christine Brown and some of her students during the motorcyclists’ visit last week.
Big bikes: Porirua’s CBD retailers and pedestrians had not likely seen bikes as magnificent as this, as the riders stopped off to relay their anti-violence message.