Fun day with a message

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Photo: Local White Ribbon committee members meet to discuss the upcoming campaign, back, Sue Prowse, Evans Chibanguza, Katrina Pritchard, Thelma Bell, Jenny Read, Carinna McBride, front, Paul Richards, Christine Richards and Anna Arrowsmith.

By Mick Jensen

A family fun day will be held this Saturday to support the work and messages featured in the White Ribbon campaign.

The national campaign aims to end violence towards women by encouraging men to lead by example and to talk to other men.

The White Ribbon Family Fun Day will be held near the paddling pool area of the Ashburton Domain.

It runs from 10am until noon and includes a free barbecue, old fashioned games, a bouncy castle and obstacle course.

There is also an “ultimate” family relay, which challenges families to eat dry Weet-bix and marshmallows, plus frisbee golf and volleyball.

Ashburton White Ribbon event co-ordinator Anna Arrowsmith said the campaign event was about families having a fun and safe time together and also raising awareness around the goals of White Ribbon.

White Ribbon promoted a number of key messages including the fact that violence against women was never acceptable and also that men were part of the solution and needed to “man up” to make a call on inappropriate behaviour.

Mrs Arrowsmith said domestic violence statistics in New Zealand were stark and staggering.

Some 14 women were killed every year through domestic violence and police were called out to incidents every four minutes.

Statistics, however, failed to reflect the true picture, she said.

“If you figure in that an estimated 76 per cent of family violence incidents are not reported, then the extent of the issue is just beyond belief.”

This year White Ribbon will again spread its messages in local workplaces, with 60 morning tea packs being delivered around the district on November 24.