Mayors lead the way
The White Ribbon Campaign to end men’s violence against women was launched recently throughout New Zealand with Mayor Hugh Vercoe endorsing Matamata-Piako’s community response.
‘‘I’m proud to take part in the White Ribbon Campaign,’’ said Mr Vercoe.
‘‘Violence against women is unacceptable and as a community leader I want to play my part in ending this violence.’’
Mayors across the country have been putting their signatures on a pledge to never commit or condone or remain silent about violence towards women.
The signatures will be displayed on November 25 on the international White Ribbon Day.
‘‘On average, 14 women die and more than 3500 men are convicted for assaults on women every year.
‘‘ Those women are our mothers, daughters, sisters, female workmates and colleagues,’’ said Mr Vercoe.
‘‘ As a community, we must take responsibility to end this violence and that is why I, and many other mayors throughout New Zealand, are putting our names on the White Ribbon pledge.’’
Mr Vercoe said violence so often starts in the home and that makes it a com- munity problem.
‘‘Our council has always taken violence seriously and the White Ribbon Campaign is a chance to talk about the issues openly and honestly.
‘‘Change needs to occur in every community across New Zealand,’’ said Mr Vercoe.
The White Ribbon Pledge is one of a number of initiatives organised by the Families Commission-led White Ribbon Campaign.
The pledge brings together New Zealanders throughout the country in a united show of support to end violence against women.
As this support grows for a violence-free future, the White Ribbon Campaign hopes to encourage men to take a stand and show they’re man enough to end violence.
To sign the pledge simply visit the website, white ribbon.org.nz
‘‘We want this campaign to talk to people that are outside the tent,’’ said Chief Families Commissioner, Carl Davidson.
‘‘There are many passionate people throughout the country working to reduce violence.
‘‘But we need to connect with the many good men that simply don’t believe this problem affects them. While there’s no violence in my family, I could easily say this issue doesn’t affect me. But I have two daughters, and one day, I might have grandchildren.
‘‘ I don’t need any other reason to make ending violence against women my responsibility. And that goes for nearly every man I know.
‘‘We all have women in our lives, and to shrug our shoulders and say this violence only affects others is a cop out.
‘‘By standing up and not remaining passive bystanders, we can influence our friends, our mates and work colleagues.
‘‘Are we man enough to stop violence towards women – I’d like to think so.’’
Showing support: MatamataPiako District Mayor Hugh Vercoe is endorsing the White Ribbon campaign.