Abuse statistics are simply not ok
In 2009 in New Zealand there were more than 54,000 reported family violence offences, and 35 out of 55 murders were family violence related.
This is why, on November 25, White Ribbon Day, New Zealanders are urged to stand up and be counted as people who will neither condone nor remain silent about violence in our families and communities.
It’s not just those who are direct victims of physical assault and emotional abuse we need to worry about.
The harm experienced by children who grow up in a violent environment can be serious. Ongoing experiences of neglect, stress or trauma can seriously damage brain development in children, one of the contributing causes of intergenerational violence where victims, in turn, become abusers.
But there is hope. More than ever, New Zealanders are rejecting violence, helped, in part, by the It’s Not OK and White Ribbon campaigns.
This year more than 100 community organisations throughout New Zealand have committed to participate in the 2010 National White Ribbon Campaign where men stand up against violence toward women. Some 500,000 people will chose to wear a ribbon.
The Families Commission urges all Kiwis to join them.
Whether it is as simple as wearing a ribbon or as committed as offering support to a friend or family member in trouble, there is a multitude of ways to help.
Let’s not make it a White Ribbon Day but a White Ribbon year and longer; a life-long commitment to the wellbeing of our families, our whanau, our children and our future. Carl Davidson Chief Commissioner