May­ors lead the way

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

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.

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