White ribbons fluttered on the black leather jackets of the
motorcycle riders who roared up to St Paul's Cathedral
About a dozen riders and another 16 people attended the White
Ribbon Ride to end violence against women; including Lesley
Elliott, the mother of murdered Dunedin woman Sophie Elliott.
Mrs Elliott said she was a staunch supporter of white ribbon
and encouraged positive peer pressure among men.
"It's for guys to say to their mates, 'Look, I don't like the
way you're treating your girlfriend,"' Mrs Elliott said.
She had seen many young men without suitable role models,
living in environments where negative behaviour towards women
was seen as normal, Mrs Elliott said.
"Guys are seeing that and thinking that's how you act. And
girls are seeing it and think, 'Well, that's our lot. That's
what you can expect being a woman."'
If more education on the signs of abuse had been available
for her daughter at high school, she might have recognised
them earlier, she said.
"It certainly would have rung some alarm bells. But she
didn't understand, and I couldn't understand."
Richard Bradley, of the Marlborough chapter of the Patriots
Defence Force Motorcycle Club, was on his second White Ribbon
Ride around the South Island.
"The first thing about owning the problem is going out and
saying, 'Hey, you're not my mate if you twack your missus."'
The message was being well received and some reformed abusers
had shared their own journey to recovery with them, he said.
Dean the Very Rev Dr Trevor James kept the service for the
riders short yesterday.
"This is a time for speed. We'll keep it short, simple and
from the heart."
After the service, Canon Wiremu Quedley gave a reading, Mr
Bradley and Mrs Elliott spoke, candles were lit, bikes were
blessed and breakfast was eaten before the riders left for
The ride is due to finish tomorrow, and White Ribbon Day is