White Ribbon anti-violence campaign calls for men to stand up, speak out, and act

White Ribbon anti-violence campaign calls for men to stand up, speak out, and act
Photo credit: Supplied.

White Ribbon launched a new campaign on Monday asking men to "stand up" to actions they identify as violent.

New Zealand has the highest rate of reported violence towards women in the developed world, with one family violence related police callout occurring every five minutes.

White Ribbon's manager Rob McCann said there were misconceptions around the reason for this high level of violence.

"Too often people think violence is just someone losing their temper, but research clearly demonstrates that violence is more about controlling behaviour and men's socialisation."

White Ribbon has eight actions for men to take when they become concerned about others men's behaviour, including listening to and believing women, reflecting on their own behaviour, and disrupting other men's violence towards women.

The organisation is calling for men to "Take the Pledge" on their website, and actively respond to signs of violence around them.

In a video promoting the campaign, White Ribbon Ambassador Richie Hardcore said part of the problem lies with people who don't speak up.

"All it takes for bad things to keep happening in our world is for good men to stay silent," he said.

He said the problems were "deeply embedded in our culture."

Mr McCann said the campaign was all about noticing smaller things, like sexist jokes or derogatory comments, which are often ignored.

"We know that promoting and understanding respectful relationships is a protection against violence," he said.

Mr McCann said "it's time for men to get off the side-lines and play a role in violence prevention."

Family violence accounts for half of all reported serious crime in New Zealand.

The Pledge can be found at www.whiteribbon.org.nz