Today marks White Ribbon Day with different events happening across Aotearoa aiming the spotlight on family violence.
The theme for this year’s White Ribbon campaign focuses on respectful relationships between men and women, "consent" as a necessary requirement of all sexual relationships, and challenging attitudes and behaviour around violence against women.
Justice Minister Amy Adams says White Ribbon Day highlights the need for a continued focus on helping to reduce family and sexual violence.
“While the Government has a significant amount of work underway to help reduce family and sexual violence, campaigns like White Ribbon Day are a reminder that there is still a long way to go,” says Adams.
“The rate of family violence in New Zealand is horrific. New Zealand has the highest reported rate of intimate partner violence in the developed world. We know that around half of all violent offence charges in our courts relate to family violence and in 86 per cent of cases of violence against intimate partners the victims are women. That’s why I’ve made helping to reduce family and sexual violence one of my core priorities."
She continues to say, "The Government spends $1.4 billion each year responding to family and sexual violence and we’ve made a firm commitment to tackle this issue head on. This includes an overhaul of New Zealand’s family violence legislation and implementing a range of family violence initiatives such as the recently announced Chief Victims Advisor to Government.”
Ms Adams says there is also a suite of sexual violence reforms underway including looking at alternative ways for victims to give evidence and ensuring adequate support and advice for victims.
This morning, Aucklanders marched up Queen Street against violence with hundreds in attendance.
Counties-Manukau Police also posted a video reminder yesterday on their facebook page, highlighting the importance of this cause and options for those seeking help.