White Ribbon Day: We Can All Help Bring Change

Published: Tue 25 Nov 2008 01:08 PM
Today on White Ribbon day, men from many different cultural communities and localities across NZ are wearing white ribbons to express their opposition to all forms of violence towards women and children.
Liz Kinley, Jigsaw CEO, Strategic Operations, says these men’s collective message gives strong encouragement to all our men to demonstrate their own personal commitment to being the best partners and fathers, grandfathers, brothers, uncles and mates that they can be.
”Sadly, as we are all too aware from the regular news reports throughout the year, highlighted intensely by the conviction last week of those who murdered Nia Glassie, there are too many men in our society who are not able to the nurturing partners, fathers and positive male models that our women and children need.“
Ms Kinley says many of these men actively harm their children either by exposing them to scenes of violence and abuse against their mothers or by yelling at them, putting them down and in other ways emotionally and physically assaulting them,
“Jigsaw Family Services and its many member agencies across the country work hard every day to help men of all ages learn what’s involved in being a positive partner and father. Many men who are abusive towards their women partners don’t understand that when they hurt her they hurt their children. When they get help and begin to absorb this new information and discover what kind of environment their children need to thrive, their behaviour towards their partners and within their families often changes for the better.”
Ms Kinley encourages people to get involved and invite men they know to get help when it’s needed.
“If you know of someone whose behaviour towards their partner and children worries you and you can see that they aren’t yet being the best partner and father they could be, talk with others you trust and work out something you can say or do to encourage them to get help.
White Ribbon Day is an invitation to speak up, to say ‘It’s not OK’, to tell the people we care about what we’re noticing and to offer to stand beside them through their changes because ‘It is OK’ to ask for the kind of help that will change their life and the lives of their family members for the better.”

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