Oamaru has taken up the challenge of facing the problem of domestic violence, says Eru Whare, of the White Ribbon Ride.
Mr Whare and other motorcyclists, on a ride through the South Island raising awareness of men’s violence against women, rolled into Oamaru this week.
‘‘I think the colleges here have been converted to the message, but we’d also like the general public to turn up,’’ he said.
Among the schools Mr Whare and his group, accompanied by motorcyclists from North Otago, visited were St Kevin’s College and Waitaki Girls’ High School.
At St Kevin’s, Queenstown rider Blair McKenzie, a member of Redeemed Motorcycle Ministry Inc, urged the pupils to have respect for their classmates, buddies,
parents and siblings.
‘‘Your communities are the ones to make the change.’’
He recounted his family’s ‘‘generational curse’’, in which his grandmother had abused his father, who in turn abused his mother.
He got caught up in the cycle and his wife suffered as a consequence.
‘‘I praise the Lord I’m still with her. I decided to grow up and take responsibility for my actions.
‘‘You can change — you can get help.’’
He said if any of the pupils knew of an abuser, they should get beside them and help them, and he encouraged the pupils to stand up against domestic violence and ‘‘say it’s enough’’.
Mr Whare, who comes from Ngaruawahia and was on his fifth White Ribbon Ride through the South Island, spoke also about cyber bullying, which he described as being one of the highest contributors to youth suicide. He advised the pupils to think how they could become better people and to have better relationships.