While we all know that most men are not violent, all it takes for bad things to happen is for good people to do nothing.
And too many of us must be doing an awful lot of nothing says White Ribbon’s Manager, Rob McCann. “We currently have the highest rate of reported violence towards women in the developed world while our front line police officers spend 41% of their time responding to family violence.”
It’s time for men to get off the side-lines and play a role in violence prevention
This November White Ribbon is asking men to ‘stand up’ by taking the online pledge and committing to take one of eight actions.
The eight actions offer men choices - to listen, reflect, alter their behaviour, talk to others and disrupt negative behaviour – which build respectful behaviour that undermines violence.
“Too often people think violence is just someone losing their temper, but research clearly demonstrates that violence is more about controlling behaviour and men’s socialisation. We know that promoting and understanding respectful relationships is a protection against violence.
“As men we can make a real difference if we stand up for our values. How many of us ignore the guy telling sexist jokes in the pub or look the other way when a friend is making derogatory comments? Too many! How many dads sit down with their sons and talk about what a respectful sexual relationship looks like? *
“The answer is not enough. That is why we are asking men to stand up and get involved. We’re challenging men to take The Pledge, To stand up, speak out and act to prevent men’s violence towards women, and when they do, chose from one of eight options that help men take real action. Actions that women around the world have been asking for.
If you’re looking for help on how to disrupt other men when they threaten or disrespect women, or want to know how to talk to your son about respectful relationships and porn, or how to intervene when men are threatening women, White Ribbon has a set of free Toolboxes on their website www.whiteribbon.org.nz
* * In 2016 White Ribbon commissioned Research New Zealand to discover what topics fathers were comfortable talking to their sons and daughters about. Kiwi dads said they least ‘regularly’ discuss the importance of consent and knowing when it is OK or not OK to engage in sexual activity with someone with their teenage sons. 22% said they regularly discuss this, compared with 66% who regularly discussed ‘doing well at school’. Compared with other topics, this was the one that fathers were least comfortable discussing while dads were happy to talk to their daughters about keeping safe.
- New Zealand has the highest rate of reported violence towards women in the developed world
- Police investigated 118,910 family violence incidents in 2016 or about one every five minutes
- That’s 41% of a front line officers time
- One in three women will experience partner violence at some point in their lives
- Less than 20 percent of abuse cases are reported
- Approximately 3,500 convictions are recorded against men each year for assaults on women
- On average, 14 women a year are killed by their partners or ex-partners
- Between 2009 and 2015, there were 92 IPV (Intimate partner Violence) deaths. In 98% of death events where there was a recorded history of abuse, women were the primary victim, abused by their male partner.
- Family violence accounts for half of all reported serious crime
KEY WHITE RIBBON MESSAGES
- Men Stand Up and prevent violence towards women. Encouraging men to stand up and speak out and act to prevent violence towards women by taking The Pledge and committing to take one of eight specific actions.
- Men back up their stand with real actions. White Ribbon supports men to commit to taking at least one of these eight actions to show their respect. They’re the right thing to do:
o Listening and believing women
o Reflecting on and changing their behaviour
o Disrupting other men’s violence towards women
o Treating women as equals
o Choose how to be a man and how I will act
o Talk to a young man about breaking out of the Man Box
o Think about what they watch and the media they us
o Talk with young men about respectful relationships and pornography
- Men who stand up show they respect women.
- Women have asked men to take these actions
- Men’s respectful behaviour prevents violence.
Respectful relationships are based on: treating women as equals; choosing your own identities and behaviour to be your own man; using non-violent communication; and ensuring enthusiastic consent for sexual relationships. These actions prevent men’s violence towards women, and can.