Nelson man selected for anti-violence ambassador

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A Nelson man has been chosen to lead the South Island leg of the White Ribbon annual motorbike ride, an event designed to promote the appeal to stop violence against women.

Colin Agnew is the leader of this year’s South Island leg of the White Ribbon Ride and he’s bringing the Ride to Nelson on 17th November.

Colin has been involved with the White Ribbon Ride since it first began in 2008 and is very pleased to become an Ambassador. Though he may look tough, he has a soft heart.

“The ride means a lot to me, and the stories I’ve heard have only increased my determination to keep coming back each year,” he said.

The Ride will launch from Nelson on 17 November, and travel down the West Coast reaching Haast on the 19th and travelling through Wanaka on the 20th. By the 22nd the ride reaches Invercargill before beginning the ride north through Dunedin and onto Christchurch for White Ribbon day on 25 November and ending in Blenheim on the 26th.

One memorable ride for  Colin was 2011 when a woman in Gore recognised his motorbike and approached him with her three children. The woman had talked to him at a White Ribbon Ride a few years before, and told them it gave her the confidence to pack up and leave her violent household. She said she was now living in Gore, safe and happy with her children.

“It’s a sign to me that I need to keep doing this as long as it takes.”

It’s these kinds of stories, both from those closest to Colin and complete strangers which encourage him to continue to want to help those suffering from family violence.

“I don’t think anyone has the right to abuse someone, and that sharing their stories helps not just the person in that situation but encourages others to speak out too.”

The White Ribbon Ride will be visiting towns throughout the South Island this year, and will need help from organisations to host them. Riders can join in the Ride at any location and can participate for the day, or the week and take part in the events that are held by each town. This year we will also be encouraging scooters and bikes under 250cc’s to join in when the event is within the city limits.

The ride spreads the White Ribbon anti-violence message, by going directly into communities where violence can often be pervasive. It proves to men you can still be tough without having to condone abuse, and allows women to see that not all men are violent.