National Collective of
Independent Women’s Refuges Inc.
Media Release – 24 November 2009
Women’s Refuge Praises White Ribbon Day Role Models
Women’s Refuge Chief Executive, Heather Henare paid tribute to participants in a White Ribbon Day men’s breakfast this
morning in Wellington.
Ms Henare said, “In this fight to stop violence against women, I guess you could say I’m an old soldier, a veteran.
Today I salute you for your stand.”
“I am very aware of the great work so many of you are doing to promote change in your families, workplaces and
communities. You have a critical role to play and I honour you as you stand alongside women. You are our allies, as we
seek to eliminate domestic violence in Aotearoa.”
Ms Henare said, “In the last year we have seen too many appalling domestic violence cases in the headlines, too many
daughters, mothers, sisters hurt or taken forever.”
“Right now, we have Refuges throughout this country that are full to capacity. Our crisis lines still average a call
every eleven minutes and our services to children increased by 16% last year.”
Ms Henare acknowledged Ruben Wiki, saying his actions as a White Ribbon ambassador would make him, “A standout leader
and role model,” for his generation.
She said, “We need really do need leadership of this calibre to help bring about change in this country. The future is
in the hands of our young people and they are looking to their role models to show them the way. I see in this room a
new definition of masculinity that makes me very hopeful for the future.”
Women’s Refuge is New Zealand’s most significant family violence organisation, with a 35 year history of providing
comprehensive services for women and children