Non-violent men asked to stand up to domestic violence for White Ribbon Day

  • 25/11/2018

Non-violent men are being challenged to stand up to domestic violence.

Today is White Ribbon Day, which aims to highlight the country's shocking domestic violence statistics.

Campaign manager Rob McCann told Newshub we can all do our bit - even if we're not violent ourselves.

"If we don't get the help of the average Kiwi bloke, we're not going to make a real dent in this. We've got the highest rate of reported violence towards women in the developed world," he said.

Mr McCann said there are often chances for people to intervene.

"Most of us when we hear someone say something derogatory about women in a pub… we look away. We laugh... What we don't do is say, 'Mate - that's not okay.'"

Newshub Digital managing editor and White Ribbon Ambassador Mark Longley told the AM Show earlier in November Kiwis can make a difference.

"We can change. As people we can change. We can all step in," he said.

"That's part of the campaign this year, it's asking men, particularly fathers, to be that champion in the family."

Mr Longley's daughter, Emily Longley, was killed by a violent partner who had made multiple death threats towards her before - and even practised killing her on a friend.

He told The AM Show people need to step up when somebody is struggling or in danger.

"If someone's talking about setting fire to their girlfriend, that girl's life's in danger," he said.

"If one of your mates is struggling, if they're under a lot of pressure, if they're behaving in a way you're not sure is right - just step in."

Mr McCann says it's not simply enough to be non-violent.

"The reality is when men are not violent they think, 'It's not my problem - it's not in my family.' But that's not how we're going to change men's attitudes."