This Friday November 25 is White Ribbon Day. The day aims to raise awareness around violence towards women in New Zealand and operates on the principles that everyone has a right to safety and respect. The campaign asks you to show support for anything that will prevent violence and to wear a White Ribbon and talk about why.
Most men have respectful relationships with women – White Ribbon is about strengthening common behaviour and attitudes. Men have to be part of the solution – they can do this by checking that their actions, and those of their mates, are OK – but we all have a role to play.
The strongest role modelling for your children is to witness your own healthy relationships. Model the behaviour you want to see. Show your children how you respect each other as partners and encourage them to show their feelings. They will learn from you and use you as their guide for what to expect from relationships with others.
The Raglan House fully embraces the kaupapa of non-violence. Here are some things we can ALL do to demonstrate our commitment to that kaupapa.
- Question set ideas about how men or women should act. Letting each person choose how to act is more effective and healthier for everyone.
- Treat everyone as an individual – whether they are male or female
- As a male, be yourself when you’re around other men. Talk about your partner as an equal and say what you appreciate about her. Show that you make decisions together
- Question any ideas about men being “in charge” or “the boss”. Treat women as having equal say in your relationship, and give equal importance to their opinions.
- Show that you disapprove by not laughing or smiling. If any man says something disrespectful towards or about women, turn away or walk off. Better still challenge the statement.Say something that shows you don’t agree. Try:
“Come on, mate, you’re better than that.”
“Bro, not cool.”
“He mana wahine ehoa.”
“What if someone said that about your mum/sister/girlfriend?”
“I don’t think we’d agree with that, would we guys?”
“Why would you say that?”
“I know it’s a joke, but it’s just not funny.”
“Think about what you just said.”
- Talk openly about values that support respectful behaviour. These could be cultural values, religious beliefs, or general ideas like Everyone’s equal or A fair go for all. This helps prevent violence.