White Ribbon Day is an international event which takes place on 25 November every year. In 2015, the Auckland Central White Ribbon Day committee decided to host the inaugural White Ribbon Day March in Auckland. We at Living Without Violence (Waiheke Network) were delighted to join what was a small but spirited gathering on the march which closed down Queen Street and raised public awareness about domestic violence in our communities.
From our perspective, there were two significant highlights of the march – firstly the group of young women who, with great dignity and pride, carried aloft throughout the march a photo of another beautiful young woman (their friend and sister), a woman who had been killed by her partner. And then, the group of seven young men watching the march from the sidelines who suddenly leapt in and joined us for the last half of the march and the hour of entertainment and speeches which followed because as one of them told us later “Change starts with young guys like me”. There was something serendipitous about young women remembering a loved one walking shoulder to shoulder with young men determined to ensure that sort of violence is history. Gives much hope to those of us who work in the field everyday!