To purchase the single: https://lnk.to/HollieSmithPleaseTh

"Know that you are not alone. Please."

That is the message singer Hollie Smith has for victims of family violence and the words to a new single she has penned to highlight the issue in New Zealand.

Please is released today and Smith has donated the song and all proceeds to this year's White Ribbon appeal.

White Ribbon is an international campaign led by men to end violence against women.

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White Ribbon Day is held annually on November 25 but the annual fundraising and education campaign runs throughout the month.

This year's campaign message is around respectful relationships - specifically that a respectful relationship requires equality, communication and consent.

Smith said family violence, particularly violence by men against women was an issue that New Zealand "needs to urgently address and prioritise".

"Domestic violence in New Zealand is far too prevalent in our everyday news headlines and statistics, but more dangerously it is frequently happening unreported and behind closed doors," Smith said.

"I feel there is an attitude of 'if I can't see it, it doesn't affect me'.

"Well I believe it does. - it affects our communities, our children and the foundations of our culture, identity and future."

Smith said emotional manipulation and violence was not confined to the weak or the poor and it was beyond race and religion.

It is time for all of Aotearoa to come together to find a way to resolve this crisis and start creating an environment that nurtures and encourages healthy, respectful relationships.

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"We have to stop just waiting for another headline to shock us.

"It is about taking action and understanding that this is happening every day in far too many homes.

"It is about trying to find a solution instead of waiting for the punishment. It is about breaking the cycle and supporting those in need.

"It is about empowering our children so that they know how to love and how to be loved."

Smith said she was humbled to be able to get involved with the White Ribbon campaign.

"I hope that my involvement with the song and imagery we have created can, in some small way, contribute and raise awareness to this issue," she said.

"I hope that the lyrics I have written helps to inspire and encourage strength and support for those who are in situations they feel are beyond their control, whether that be to the victim of violence or the person who knows no other alternative."

White Ribbon ambassador Mark Longley, whose 17-year-old daughter Emily was murdered by her former partner in May 2007 after enduring months of physical and psychological abuse, said this year's campaign message was crucial.

Emily Longley was murdered in 2011 by the boyfriend she was trying to leave, following months of abuse. Photo supplied to the New Zealand Herald.
Emily Longley was murdered in 2011 by the boyfriend she was trying to leave, following months of abuse. Photo supplied to the New Zealand Herald.

He said understanding respectful relationships was a powerful step towards stopping violence towards women.

"Most men treat women with respect," he said.

"But the biggest cause of violence is the belief that men have more rights and power than women.

"This campaign asks men to challenge those ideas and treat women how they would like to be treated, and let go of the feeling that we have to be in charge."

Longley said the 2016 campaign also focused on male behaviour during conflict and demonstrated that communicating was key to a good relationship.

"Conflict happens, but dealing with it respectfully makes all the difference," he explained.

"We want to make the information on respect as accessible as possible, so we've also created a toolbox which contains practical tips on how to treat women equally, communicate respectfully and have a respectful sexual relationship.

"We see this work as a protection against violence, and we're asking men to download the toolbox and then take The White Ribbon Pledge."

Hollie Smith's single Please is available for purchase from iTunes.
All Artist Royalties proceeds will be donated to the White Ribbon Trust to help end men's violence towards women.

Hollie Smith has penned a new song called Please, which she has donated to the 2016 White Ribbon campaign. Photo supplied.
Hollie Smith has penned a new song called Please, which she has donated to the 2016 White Ribbon campaign. Photo supplied.

The facts: violence against women in New Zealand

• One in three women will experience partner violence at some point in their lives
• Less than 20 per cent of abuse cases are reported
• More than 3500 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
• Police attend a family violence incident every 5-and-a-half minutes
• Family violence accounts for half of all reported serious crime
• In 2015 police responded to more than 110,000 family violence incidents

Respectful relationships - the White Ribbon message

• Say yes to respectful relationships and no to violence towards women
• Respectful relationships require equality, communication and consent
• Violence is not just physical
• Men are part of the solution
• You can help fix this problem by taking The Pledge to stand up, speak out and act to prevent men's violence towards women

The White Ribbon Pledge:I will stand up, speak out and act to prevent men's violence towards women.

Take the pledge here: https://whiteribbon.org.nz/act/the-pledge/


Hollie Smith: Please


We all fighting a battle that no one else can see
We all have our own reason, excuses we can't release
We all need a haven, when all there is, is rain
We all need forgiveness to have our slates wiped clean

I wish I that I could tell you
I wish that you could hear
Oh I'm never gonna hurt you, always gonna be here
Never gonna turn my back
I wish that you could listen
Cause I know that you are strong
Oh I'm never gonna hurt you, always gonna be here
Know that you are not alone. Please

Only hold the burden, inherit all the shame
Refusing there's a saviour, can't let go of the blame
If the cycles keep on turning, you need to break free the chains
The scars may never leave you but there's a spirit to reclaim

I wish I that I could tell you
I wish that you could hear
Oh I'm never gonna hurt you, always gonna be here
Never gonna turn my back
I wish that you could listen
Cause I know that you are strong
Oh I'm never gonna hurt you, always gonna be here
Know that you are not alone. Please

Where we don't, cast any stone
No longer, know you're alone
Holding feet to the fire, don't walk this alone
You can change your fate

If you're in danger NOW:

• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you
• Run outside and head for where there are other people
• Scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you
• Take the children with you
• Don't stop to get anything else
• If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault. Violence is never okay

Where to go for help or more information:

• Women's Refuge: Free national crisisline operates 24/7 - 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450 www.areyouok.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and Middle Eastern women and their children. Crisisline 24/7 0800 742 584
• Ministry of Justice: www.justice.govt.nz/family-justice/domestic-violence
• National Network of Stopping Violence: www.nnsvs.org.nz
• White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men's violence towards women, focusing this year on sexual violence and the issue of consent. www.whiteribbon.org.nz

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