New White Ribbon campaign - Raise our Boys

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

According to White Ribbon campaign manager Rob McCann 1 in 3 women in New Zealand experience violence in their lifetime. White Ribbon is launching their 2017 campaign which focuses on helping men raise their boys to be better men and break cycles of violence and harassment.

White Ribbon spokesperson George Ngatai told Te Kāea, "If we actually address the issues of saying no to violence then hopefully the children of these men are actually not going to walk in the footsteps of their fathers." 

The campaign focuses on preventing violence and harassment by encouraging dads (and all caregivers) to teach their boys about consent and being respectful.

"What actually runs in fathers sprints in their children and so the faster we address that issue right now the better it's going to be for young men and families."

Campaign Manager Rob McCann says the number of women that experience issues such as sexual harassment is also high. This claim is backed by the social media campaign #metoo which is trending worldwide as women, and some men, share their stories of sexual assault.

Ngatai says, "I think it's great that women have been given the courage to come out whether it's on Facebook or wherever."

He says there needs to be more support services for women.

"Unless they've got somewhere to go to express to feel supported to feel heard to feel wanted when they're just going to hold their challenges their issues within themselves."

White Ribbon will host workshops around the country in November to increase understanding of how New Zealand males are socialised and how this links with the high levels of family and sexual violence against women.

"Making sure that we stand up against abuse towards our women and teaching our young sons boys about how to be better boys, better men."

On 25th November at 10am White Ribbon are hosting a march down Queen Street in Auckland to raise awareness.