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White Ribbon NZ campaigns on respectful relationships in 2016

November 24, 2016 at 5:01 PM

*From the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse*

White Ribbon Day, 25 November, will be marked in New Zealand in 2016 with a range of activities.

25 November is also the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is marked from 25 November to 10 December. In 2016, the theme is a call to action, Orange the World: Raise Money to End Violence against Women and Girls.

The New Zealand White Ribbon Campaign runs activities throughout the year with an increased focus in November. The campaign is driven by the White Ribbon campaign team with support from government agencies, community groups, NGOs and businesses across the country.

The goal of the NZ campaign is to eliminate men’s violence towards women by changing men’s attitudes and behaviours, predominantly through men talking to men. White Ribbon will continue to focus the 2016 campaign on respectful relationships, with four specific themes:

  • "Respectful relationships between men and women. This is the over-arching theme. Respectful relationships are based on:
    • Equality between women and men
    • The effective use of non-violent communication
    • Flexible gender behaviour for men and women
    • This includes respectful sexual relationships
  • ‘Consent’ as a necessary requirement of all sexual relationships.
  • Men challenging the attitudes and behaviour of other men that underpin all violence.
  • Developing your child’s respectful behaviour (giving Kiwi dads the skills and confidence to talk about respectful relationships and respectful sexual relationships with their sons)."

White Ribbon also commissioned research on what what topics fathers were comfortable talking to their children about, after identifying many fathers were uncomfortable talking to their sons about respectful sexual relationships. White Ribbon suggests five top actions for fathers:

  1. "Role model respectful behaviour. Show you respect your partner as an equal and communicate respectfully.
  2. Be actively involved in raising your kids. This makes them better people and makes you a better person too.
  3. Start developing their respectful behaviour early and adjust to their development.
  4. Talk about respect as a behaviour. Describe what they can do to show respect.
  5. Know they’ll appreciate learning from you. Kids typically want more sex education than they get."

The 2016 national campaign was launched with the release of Hollie Smith’s new song ‘Please’. Proceeds from the sale of the song support White Ribbon, which became a trust in 2014. Other activities include a poster campaign, White Ribbon rides and a week of action at The Warehouse.

White Ribbon provides information and resources on their website:

White Ribbon events are taking place around the country. See the White Ribbon website for event listings or to post your community event. Media coverage of activities is listed below.

White Ribbon is an internationally recognised campaign in which men wear a white ribbon to show they do not condone violence towards women. The campaign was started in Canada by a group of men, after the brutal mass shooting of 14 female students at the University of Montreal in 1989.

Related information and resources

The Clearinghouse will be publishing Issues Paper 11, Responding to perpetrators of family violence on Friday 25 November. Seminars on the paper will be held in Auckland and Wellington, and the Wellington seminar will be livestreamed on Facebook.

Earlier in 2016, researchers from the University of Wollongong published a research about White Ribbon Australia's Ambassor programme. The report, Public Report: Case Study of White Ribbon Australia’s Ambassador Program: Men as Allies to Prevent Men’s Violence against Women (2016), summarises findings from a survey completed by 296 ambassadors and 86 interviews. 

New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse Issues Paper 5 explored Effectively involving men in violence prevention (2013).

Read a previous Clearinghouse news story (2015) to find more resources on engaging men in violence prevention.


Navy Divers Shine a Light on NZDF’s Pledge, Press release: New Zealand Defence Force, Scoop, 23.11.2016

New Zealand X Factor winner and dad spread White Ribbon message, Stuff, 23.11.2016

Mayor speaks up for White Ribbon, Gisborne Herald, 21.11.2016

Walking a mile in her shoes to raise awareness of domestic violence, Manawatu Standard, 20.11.2016

Senior church leader appointed White Ribbon Ambassador, Press release: Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, Scoop, 18.11.2016

White Ribbon Riders spread anti-violence message to Nelson schools, Nelson Mail, 18.11.2016

Gang veterans ride against family violence, Hawke's Bay Today, 18.11.2016

Rallying to spread anti-violence message, Eastern Courier, 17.11.2016

Far North Mayor John Carter takes stand against domestic violence, The Northern Advocate, 17.11.2016

Council ‘drives’ White Ribbon awareness campaign, Press release: Upper Hutt City Council, Scoop, 17.11.2016

Dads, talk with your sons about respectful sexual relationships, Opinion: Jeremy Muir, Gisborne Herald, 17.11.2016

A time to remember, and make the pledge, Opinion: Tim Marshall, Gisborne Herald, 16.11.2016

White Ribbon Day set early for South Taranaki, Taranaki Daily News, 15.11.2016

Hollie Smith launches the 2016 White Ribbon Campaign, Press release: White Ribbon, Scoop, 11.11.2016

Kiwi musician put the brakes on cycle of abuse, Taranaki Daily News, 11.11.2016

Hollie Smith's family violence plea: 'It is time for all of Aotearoa to come together', NZ Herald, 10.11.2016

White Ribbon message pushed through fun family day, The Dominion Post, 08.11.2016

Longboard comp raising awareness: 'No Violence Classic' about raising awareness and having fun, Gisborne Herald, 05.11.2016

HALT going white for anti violence message, Wanganui Chronicle, 04.11.2016

Marlborough Violence Intervention Project plans for White Ribbon Day, Marlborough Express, 28.10.2016

Make a stand against family violence in your community, Waikato Times, 12.10.2016

Category: White Ribbon Day