Kyra is the Rotorua Daily Post's police, emergency and court reporter.

White Ribbon day sends message

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WHITE RIBBON: Penny Rollo pictured with the tree artwork by the Hospital. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
WHITE RIBBON: Penny Rollo pictured with the tree artwork by the Hospital. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

The White Ribbon pledge will be signed by people in Rotorua and all over New Zealand tomorrow to support a commitment to stand up, speak out and act to prevent men's violence against women.

White Ribbon Day is held annually on November 25 with events to promote the campaign happening in communities around New Zealand.

Lakes District Health Board family violence intervention programme co-ordinator Penny Rollo is at the Christmas Craft Market in the Rotorua Hospital atrium today selling white ribbons.

The large white ribbon artwork that was a feature last year is on display again, with the white ribbon works adorning the large London Plane trees that run down Pukeroa Rd, leading to Rotorua Hospital. They will be there for the weekend.

Respectful Relationships is the theme this year and Ms Rollo said it was good to remember to follow this philosophy in all relationships - at home, at work, with friends and in the community.

She said family violence was all too common in our communities, and in Rotorua alone, police attended on average 70-80 family violence incidents every week.

Child Matters general manager of Relationships and Operations Jane Searle said in about 65 per cent of child abuse cases reported to Child Youth and Family, there were also occurrences of intimate partner violence.

"In 70 per cent of intimate partner violence cases, the children are also being abused. Even if children are not physically abused, their exposure to violence, and violence occurring in their home, can cause serious harm," Ms Searle said.

She said at least one in four adults had experienced childhood trauma or abuse, family violence or sexual assault.

"It is not always easy to tell if a child is being hurt or is at risk, but we strongly urge anyone who may have concerns about a child to speak up."

White Ribbon has been supported by Kiwis for 12 years since it was introduced in 2004 by the United Nations Development Fund for Women.

It has developed over the years to now include hundreds of White Ribbon Ambassadors and thousands of everyday New Zealanders signing the White Ribbon pledge.

If you would like to make the pledge yourself visit www.whiteribbon.org.nz.

Places to seek support:
■ Employee Assistance Programme 0800 327 669
■ Women's Refuge 0800 REFUGE
■ Shakti Ethnic Women's Support Group 0800 SHAKTI
■ MATES (Men's Group) 0800 4MATES
■ It's not Ok national Helpline 0800 456 450
■ Shine National Helpline 0508 744 633

- Rotorua Daily Post

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