Men make anti-violence stand

By Lin Ferguson


Despite a lower turnout than last year, organisers of Saturday's White Ribbon street march in Wanganui say a powerful message was delivered.

About 200 men walked up Wanganui's main street to Majestic Square compared to about 700 last year.

Executive officer of Jigsaw Whanganui, Tim Metcalfe said the smaller number was not surprising because the march was held on a Saturday and at a time of the year when everyone was busy with many other commitments.

"But small didn't really matter because these men imparted a very powerful message, a very powerful message indeed."

This is the fourth year of the march against domestic violence. Two years ago about 450 men joined the march, and the number rose to about 700 in 2011.

The men, some with small children in pushchairs, were addressed post-march by Mayor Annette Main and kaumatua John Maihi, Mr Metcalfe said.

"We had some lovely family entertainment at Majestic Square. It was a very special hour-and-a-half for everyone."

Mr Metcalfe said numerous studies had shown that while both men and women engaged in low-level violence, men were more likely to use "serious tactics" against women.

"We're not talking just about physical violence but also emotional violence - it's about injecting fear," he said.

"In my experience, threats to harm children or pets are extremely common in domestic-violence situations."

Mr Metcalfe said it was often hard for people with status, privilege and power to understand the fears that victims faced.

Facebook.com/WhiteRibbon Whanganui or wrw.org.nz

- WANGANUI CHRONICLE

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