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Monday, November 23

White Ribbons - small symbols of big issue





An internationally recognised day against family violence will have a very local application in Auckland City District when members of the Vodafone Warriors Rugby League team step up to assist Police distribute the symbolic white ribbons to members of the public on Wednesday, November 25.

Known officially as White Ribbon Day, November 25 is the United Nations International Day for the elimination of violence against women.

In a show of support for the concept, two current members of the Vodafone Warriors and a founding team member who is now a Police Officer, Constable Tony Tatupu, will be in Vulcan Lane between 3 and 5pm distributing the ribbons and the anti-violence messages.

Police staff throughout the district will wear the white ribbon brooches all week and will participate in several planned events to mark the occasion and to acknowledge the work Police and other agencies carry out every day in an effort to curb the incidence of family violence.

The Auckland City District Family Violence Co-ordinator, Senior Sergeant Vaughn Graham, says he would love to be able to disband his team of dedicated staff as that would signify there'd been an end to such incidents.

"Sadly though, family violence continues to be largely under reported to Police and other agencies," Mr Graham says.

"Auckland City Staff continue to work on a range of family violence related offences which canvass murder down to property damage and verbal abuse.

"They also deal with situations where there've been serious sexual and physical assaults on adults and children.

"Our specialist staff work closely with other specialist Police investigators from the CIB and other government and non-government agencies to support victims of such offences, including work with offenders every day.

"Wearing the white ribbon is an opportunity for our staff to reflect on the daily work they undertake which includes attendance at and the investigation of family violence offences.
"Wednesday, November 25 also provides a small opportunity for staff to distribute positive anti-violence messages and to invite the community to embrace the message - that violence against women should not be tolerated."

Of the 73,000 family violence occurrences reported to Police annually, about 5,000 of them occur in the Auckland City District.


District White Ribbon Day events:

• Tuesday, November 24 - 9am, Fickling Centre, Mt Roskill
Refugee Migrant Programme - community members discuss services to their own communities

• Wednesday, November 25 - 3pm to 5pm - Onehunga Community Centre
Information, stalls, music, discussions. Police distribute white ribbons.
Warriors players present and distribute ribbons and anti-violence messages

• Wednesday, November 25, 3pm to 5pm - Vulcan Lane
Police and Warriors distribute white ribbons and anti-violence messages

• Wednesday, November 25, all day - various locations
Police and the Coalition of Women distribute white ribbons and anti-violence messages