The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) on 25 November marked White Ribbon Day with an afternoon tea held at its Base at the Guadalcanal Beach Resort, Henderson, in Honiara.
Members of the RAMSI Participating Police Force, the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force and the Rendersafe Operation attended the event.
White Ribbon Day is the world’s largest male-led movement to end men’s violence against women. White Ribbon Day celebrates the culmination of the annual campaign and global recognition of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. As such, men and women are encouraged to wear a symbolic white ribbon on 25 November.
White Ribbon Day (25 November) also signals the start of the 16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence against Women, which ends on Human Rights Day (10 December).
“This year’s White Ribbon Day theme of ‘Happy Family, Strong Nation’ is so important because happy families, in which women and girls are respected and valued leads to a strong and confident nation. That is what we must all strive for in Solomon Islands,” said Ms Justine Braithwaite, the RAMSI Special Coordinator.
“Violence against women and children is a crime. The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force is on the frontline in the campaign. The work of the RSIPF is critical. Family violence cannot be tolerated, is never acceptable. It is not a private matter. It is everyone’s business,” said Ms Braithwaite.
Acting Commissioner of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, Ms Juanita Matanga said at the function: “As Acting Commissioner of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, I can assure you that the RSIPF remain committed to preventing violence against women and continue to ensure that crimes against another person are pursued according to the law.”
“The violence perpetrated by men against women must stop and it is up to both men and women to put a stop to this behaviour. The victims of this crime by men against women are not merely statistics; they are wives, sisters, mothers, daughters and friends,” Ms Matanga said.
The new RAMSI Special Coordinator, Ms Braithwaite later joined hundreds of women, men and young people who joined a march from the Multipurpose Hall at Lawson Tama to the National Art Gallery in Honiara to the mark the White Ribbon Day.