The White Ribbon Campaign began in Canada in 1991, when a group of men decided they had a responsibility to stand up and speak out against violence against women. This was as a direct result from an incident at the university of Montreal on the 6th December 1989 where a male killed 14 females. The male blamed women on his failure to get an engineering placement at the University as justification for his actions. Within 6 weeks of starting the campaign the group had persuaded 100,000 men to wear a white ribbon as a symbol of men's opposition to male violence against women. The White Ribbon Campaign continues to grow year on year throughout the world.
Every year 16 days of action are recognised by the organisation running from the 25th November, the International Day of Eradication of Violence against Women, until the 10th December, the International Day of Human Rights. During this period men and boys are urged to wear a white ribbon showing their support to ending male violence towards women.
You are invited to support the White Ribbon Campaign, by personally wearing a ribbon and make a pledge: “never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women”.
Violence Against Women is prevalent in Fife, blighting the lives of many women and children. It includes
• domestic abuse;
• rape; sexual violence; incest and child sexual abuse;
• sexual harassment and intimidation at work and in the public sphere;
• commercial sexual exploitation, including prostitution, pornography and trafficking;
• dowry related violence; female genital mutilation; forced and child marriages; honour crimes.
These are hugely under-reported crimes, despite this in 2011/12:
• The Public Protection Unit recorded 4549 incidents of domestic abuse
• The Fife Women’s Aid groups in Fife supported a total of 767 women last year
• Shakti Women’s Aid supported 87 ethnic minority women
• Voluntary sector sexual violence agencies supported 657 individuals; and
• 583 sexual crimes were reported to the Police
• 290 homeless applications as a result of domestic abuse
While you may want to wear a ribbon throughout the year... we are particularly asking you to do so during 16 Days of Action Against Violence Against Women (25th November - 10th December). These dates very appropriately span International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women and Human Rights Day.
The White Ribbon Campaign is internationally about men working to end men's violence against women. It started in 1991 when a group of men in Canada decided they had a responsibility to speak out against what was happening in their community – to their female friends, relatives, colleagues and neighbours. They adopted the white ribbon as a symbol of men's opposition to men's violence against women.
For more information about the Scottish Campaign http://www.whiteribbonscotland.org.uk/
What Can We all do?
• Wear a white ribbon and make a pledge on the white ribbon website (above)
• Encourage your friends and colleagues to pledge too
• Sign up to Facebook’s Scottish White Ribbon Site
There are lots of really positive things men can do and make a difference:
1. Check your own behaviour - don't be violent, threatening or controlling
2. Speak up - if you think a woman is being abused, she can get help from Fife Women’s Aid 0808 802 5555
3. Be a good role model, challenge sexist jokes and behaviour
4. Use your economic muscle - don't buy films or magazines which portray women in a degrading manner.
5. Understand the bigger picture - including violence against men and violence in same-sex relationships. All violence is wrong
6. Support the WRC campaign - play your part in creating a safer future for women and girls.
There are loads of ways to become an ambassador for the campaign and play your part in creating a safer future for women and girls.