Stories of pain, message of love

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Photo: White Ribbon Day motorcycle rider Brian Mahon speaks with youngsters at St JosephSchool.

By Mick Jensen

White Ribbon Day motorcycle riders shared stories and spread messages of love and respect during a stopover at St JosephFriday.

Supporting a nationwide awareness campaign, the bikers declared they will not condone violence by men against women and instead will stand up and speak out against it.

Some 13 motorbikes have been part of a 10-day South Island tour spreading the messages of the White Ribbon campaign.

At St Josephmotorcyclists roared through the main gates and were greeted with a rousing haka.

Younger pupils and older pupils split into two groups and were addressed by the visiting bikers.

Speaking to the younger group, ride leader Brian Mahon from Nelson encouraged students to be peopleyour friends

He urged them to have respect for others, to talk to their mates and to have fun in life.

Another biker talking to the older school group spoke candidly about his life and an abusive family history.

He had grown up with an angry and violent father.

He in turn had not been very nice to his own wife in the early years, but he had changed and had made better choices and had since treated her well.

to my father later in life and forgave him.

The youngsters were also told it was OK to ask a trusted adult for help if there were problems at home.

The White Ribbon riders headed north after the Ashburton stop over.

remains a significant social problem for the Canterbury community with 11,308 family harm episodes referred to the Christchurch Metro Police between 1 July 2018 and 20 June 2019. Research suggests that only 20% of family violence is reported to police.