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February 2009
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White ribbon success

Constable Nick Simcox, Wellington, publicises White Ribbon Day.

Photo: NZ Police

The little white ribbon is making a big impact as communities, organisations, businesses and individuals increasingly get in behind the message of the White Ribbon Day campaign.

This year police contributed $50,000 to the campaign fund and hundreds of staff throughout the country helped at events and activities on White Ribbon Day in November last year.

Research conducted in December showed that of 500 people surveyed, over half (54 percent) recalled the 2008 White Ribbon Day. This had increased significantly since a similar survey carried out in 2007 (27 percent).

Of those who recalled the day, 42 percent knew that it was about not being violent towards women. A further 13 percent of those aware of the day believed it was about family/domestic violence. Almost one in five (17 percent) said they had worn a white ribbon.

Coordinator for the national White Ribbon Day campaign committee, Families Commission representative Karlum Lattimore says there has been a steady growth in support for White Ribbon Day as public understanding increases.


Many of the White Ribbon Day activities were linked with the “It’s Not OK” message and White Ribbon Day continues to complement the Campaign for Action on Family Violence.

“Over half a million ribbons were handed out by community-based central and local government agencies. There was a real sense of enthusiasm and support and many organisations showed incredible ingenuity in the way they promoted their White Ribbon Day events and activities,” says Karlum.

National Family Violence Coordinator, Inspector Ged Byers, says the increasing awareness of the message is good news.

“I’d like to say thanks to all staff who wore the ribbon and who took time to plan or support community events.

“Having uniformed officers out and about wearing the ribbon, handing them out and being involved makes a big impact on people.”

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