20 November 2015
Hamilton residents are invited to “put a stake in the ground” against family violence this November 26 and plant a white ribbon outside the Good News Community Centre, Crawshaw.
Family Works Northern, a social services organisation focused on building strong families, is hosting the event in partnership with the Hamilton City Council. The Crawshaw community is invited to join in and show solidarity with those who have taken the pledge against violence toward women and are working toward violence-free homes for all.
Each participant will receive a free white ribbon on a stake to “plant” in the ground as a visual reminder of those who have been affected by family violence.
The two-hour event, from 10am to 12pm, will feature true-life stories. Children from Crawshaw School have been working on a video presentation of their reactions to family violence, and this will be shown at the event. Dr Neville Robertson, a Waikato University domestic violence specialist, will talk about the “power and control wheel”, which explains the dynamics of an abusive relationship. A staff member from Family Works Waikato will also speak about the programmes they run to support women and children who have been victims of violence in the home.
The organisers are also hoping to display a 14m quilt embroidered with the names of 136 children who were killed by their parents or caregivers between 1990 and 2010. Dubbed ‘Counterpain’, the quilt was designed by fabric artist Thelma McGough as a memorial and to raise awareness of the extent of family violence in New Zealand.
Recent statistics show that New Zealand has the highest reported rate of intimate partner violence in the developed world. More than 3,500 convictions are recorded against men each year for assaults against women. An average of 14 women, 7 men and 8 children are killed by a family member every year.
Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker says it is important people are aware of the impact of domestic violence on our city and its communities.
"We should not shy away from the reality that for many New Zealand families domestic violence is a daily occurrence," Mayor Hardaker says.
"Campaigns such as this are vital to raising awareness of this issue and helping our families overcome it, with our support."
Violence against women also harms children and everyone has the right to feel safe in their home, says Family Works Waikato and Lakes Area Manager, Darrin Meynell.
“Putting a stake in the ground is about making a commitment to eradicate domestic violence in our communities. Everyone is invited to come along and find out what they can do to about violence in families. Along with other services and organisations, Family Works is here to help you, or someone you know, to change their situation,” he said.
Family Works Northern provides counselling and group programmes for women and children affected by family violence, along with social work support for families, including social workers in schools.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Account Director Wright Communications
09 366 2452
Presbyterian Support Northern
09 520 8603