Awareness of violence focus of ride

South Otago men are being encouraged to "leather up and ride" with the annual White Ribbon Motorcycle Ride when it arrives in Balclutha this month.

The ride, organised by the Families Commission, forms part of the November White Ribbon Campaign to raise awareness of, and support for, local anti-violence initiatives, specifically ending violence towards women.

Big River Bikers chairwoman Jackie Greenall said it was a "fantastic opportunity" for South Otago men to show their support for the cause.

Mrs Greenall said about 14 women were killed every year, and more than 3500 convictions recorded against men each year for assaults on women.

The ride, which began in 2009 and now reaches more than 80 communities during November, will pass through Balclutha. It covers thousands of kilometres from Bluff to Whangarei.

The riders are led by the Patriots Defence Force Motorcycle Club, which is made up of former and current members of the armed services, and Te Ahi Kikoha, a Maori organisation of anti-violence campaigners.

Anyone can join the ride providing they have a licence, a warranted bike with a minimum engine size of 250cc and are willing to make the pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women. Local riders can join the ride or escort the riders in and out of town. Details:

• White Ribbon Motorcycle Ride, November 21, 3.30pm at the Balclutha War Memorial Hall.




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