Press Release: NZ Drug
Starting this Sunday, New Zealanders from around the country are
taking part in FebFast, an annual fundraising campaign that
challenges participants to experience the month of February without
The campaign, which is in its fifth year, provides a valuable
opportunity to reflect on the role alcohol plays in our lives. At
the same time participants will raise funds to support Rape
Prevention Education (RPE) to deliver more youth-focussed sexual
violence prevention initiatives.
"After the excesses of the silly season, FebFast is an
opportunity to get back into a healthy lifestyle," says Ross Bell,
Executive Director of the New Zealand Drug Foundation, the
organisation behind FebFast. "People who have completed the FebFast
challenge tell us that they feel revitalized, lose weight and save
Participants also stand in solidarity with those New Zealanders
affected by problem drinking and sexual violence. "FebFasters can
be proud because they're supporting not one, but two good causes.
We need to reflect on both our drinking and sexual violence
cultures and FebFast gives us the chance to do that," says Mr
"The Roast Busters case shocked us and brought the issue of
sexual violence into the spotlight," says Dr Kim McGregor,
Executive Director of RPE. "About 1 in 4 women and 1 in 8 men will
experience sexual violence in their lifetime."
Funds raised will enable RPE to educate more young people about
respectful relationships. "Part of the problem is that young people
aren't getting enough good information about sexual consent," says
Dr McGregor. "FebFast offers New Zealanders an opportunity to be
part of the solution."
In addition to forgoing alcohol, people from all around the
country will be creating and sharing delicious non-alcoholic drink
recipes, hosting parties, and showing more generally that good
times can happen without booze.
Excitement for the event is building, with many participants
citing the health benefits as a reason to sign up. FebFaster Tess,
from Tauranga, says "I think giving my body a rest from alcohol is
great and if I can raise some money for charity at the same time,
I'm happy." Richard from Dunedin says "My main goal is to see what
removing alcohol does to the body, weight- and calories- wise."
Others are taking time to talk about boozy Kiwi culture. "When
we are embedded in a culture that celebrates and encourages
drinking, it can become easy to lose sight of the harm caused,"
says Chelsea, a Wellington-based FebFaster.
Facts and Figures
- FebFast is in its 5th year.
- It is run by the New Zealand Drug
- To date, it has raised
over $250,000 for young people affected
by alcohol harm. Donations can be made at www.febfast.org.nz
Alcohol harms in New Zealand
- Among people who have consumed alcohol in the past 12
months, one in five have hazardous
drinking patterns. That is about 532,000
- Alcohol is the cause of 1 in 20
deaths of New Zealanders aged under 80. That's
around 800 deaths a year.
Sexual violence in New Zealand
- About 1 in 4
females and 1 in 8
males will experience sexual violence in their
- It is estimated that half of rapes
committed are associated with alcohol use.
- Alcohol is the most common drug used
in drug-facilitated sexual violence.
Supporting Rape Prevention Education
- Every $10,000 raised could provide
approximately 170 students with the
whole 4 week BodySafe programme from RPE.
- Each student receives 4 modules,
delivered by 2 specialist
educators travelling to their school to deliver the
- Watch this video of the team at RPE
explaining why people should join FebFast:http://youtu.be/vQpTW_Dq9E0