MEDIA DIARY NOTE
Event date: November 24, 2015
Event location: Takutai Square, Britomart
Event time: From 12.00 (media can arrive at 11.30am)
Aucklanders are invited to “put a stake in the ground” against family violence this November 24 and to fill in a giant White Ribbon that will be located in Britomart’s Takutai Square from Noon.
Family Works Northern, the social services organisation focused on building strong families, is hosting the event and inviting the Auckland community to join in and show solidarity with those who have taken the pledge against violence toward women and are working toward violent free homes for all.
The public are invited to join Family Works Northern Chief Executive Dr Rod Watts and White Ribbon Ambassador Mark Longley who will put their stakes in the ground. Each participant will receive a free White Ribbon ‘stake’ to “plant” in the ground to fill the shape of a giant White Ribbon in the square.
The event will feature performances from Malcolm Gordon who wrote the song ‘Hey Stranger’ to put the spotlight on family violence; X Factor New Zealand contestant from the second season Arihana Ututaonga-White and Auckland Street Choir who will perform later in the day at 7pm. The event will also include other live performances, speakers, freebies, information and more.
Recent statistics show that New Zealand has the highest reported rate of intimate partner violence in the developed world. More than 3,500 convictions are recorded against men each year for assaults against women. An average of 14 women, 7 men and 8 children are killed by a family member every year.
Dr Watts says violence against women also harms children and everyone deserves to feel safe in their home.
“The statistics, awful as they are, are only one part of the picture. Every woman assaulted is someone’s mother, auntie, sister, workmate or friend. We all need to stand up and say ‘enough is enough’ – for the women but also for the children living in violent homes. They don’t have a voice, so they need us to stand up for them and speak out.”
The organisers hope enough stakes will fill the White Ribbon for a visual display with strong impact. The White Ribbon display will be up for two days, from November 24-25.
Family Works Northern provides counselling and group programmes for women and children affected by family violence, along with social work support for families, including social workers in schools.