23 November 2017
The New Zealand Defence Force will be accredited as a White Ribbon Organisation, the first Government agency to be awarded accreditation.
The NZDF is only the third organisation in New Zealand to receive the accreditation.
The accreditation has been welcomed by the Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Tim Keating, a White Ribbon Ambassador.
This year’s White Ribbon campaign, which aims to stop men’s violence against women, is called Raise Our Boys. It focuses on ensuring fathers have the skills and confidence to talk with their sons about respectful relationships and respectful sexual relationships.
The New Zealand Defence Force provides practical support to White Ribbon initiatives, including supporting local activities and events with personnel, participating in distribution of White Ribbons and violence prevention messages.
Lieutenant General Keating says he is proud to be part of this year’s campaign.
The New Zealand Defence Force is a force for good every hour of every day. We are committed to protecting and supporting communities both domestically and overseas and in playing a leading role in the prevention of violence.”
The Defence Force supports all Government family violence prevention campaigns, drawing primarily on the “It’s Not OK” campaign aimed at reducing family violence.
“Our values are courage, commitment and comradeship, which are clearly aligned with those of White Ribbon,” Lieutenant General Keating said.
“As a White Ribbon Ambassador I continue to be proud of the efforts made by our people to raise awareness of the White Ribbon cause. I am committed to our organisation continuing to show leadership, not just within our own ranks, but in the wider community.”
White Ribbon Campaign Manager Rob McCann said the accreditation demonstrates that one of the country’s largest employers is taking every step possible to ensure they are treating family violence seriously.
“We think they have a real role to play because they can get information to inform their staff on the theories behind family violence and we think that’s so important. In terms of the Defence Force, it is a very public organisation with a wide reach.”
Last year the New Zealand Defence Force created two torches to shine a light on its commitment to stop violence against women. One of those torches was presented to the New Zealand Police and the other is on permanent display in the Defence Headquarters in Wellington.
Last year Operation Respect was launched, which tackles inappropriate and harmful sexual behaviours in the New Zealand Defence Force.
An Action Plan developed by the Defence Force was driven by two imperatives – looking after its people and recruiting and retaining more military women.
A number of activities supporting White Ribbon have been held during November, including free workshops on ‘Growing Respectful Men’ and a film promoting respectful behaviour for men. The campaign culminates on White Ribbon Day, on November 25.