White Ribbon Day
White Ribbon Day
This week Inclusion Hampshire learners and staff will be marking White Ribbon Day on 25th November.
This campaign raises awareness of violence committed against women and girls. It is different to some other campaigns as White Ribbon Day has a particular focus on men showing their support for the end of violence against women and girls and pledging never to commit, excuse or remain silent about this violence.
In the year ending March 2019 there were some 2.4 million victims of domestic abuse a year aged 16 to 74 (two-thirds of whom are women) and more than one in ten of all offences recorded by the police are domestic abuse related. These statistics rose considerable during 2020 – with the charity Refuge reporting an 80% increase in calls to their helpline during lockdown.
Latest figures show that during 2020 already, over 80 women in the UK have been killed by men.
Violence does not only refer to physical or sexual assault. The United Nations defines violence against women as ‘any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life”. United Nations (1994) A/RES/48/104
This means violence can also encompass acts such as coercive control, financial abuse, threats, aggressive speech and catcalling.
We are facing a national crisis with instances of violence against women rising annually.
But this is by no means simply a ‘woman’s issue’ and it’s in no way a reflection on all men. As White Ribbon themselves state, ‘most men do not use violence, but all men can help to end it’.
Here at Inclusion we think it is very important for all our learners to understand and explore issues around healthy relationships, respect, kindness and equality for all. By supporting campaigns like White Ribbon Day we are raising awareness of violence and abuse but also some of the key issues which have an impact on this such as a culture of toxic masculinity, misogyny and attitudes and beliefs about women and men. By exploring these issues with our learners and staff we are questioning these attitudes and beliefs and presenting differing views on what healthy masculinity might be.
We are also joining the Youth Advocate Programme – encouraging our male learners to become advocates for the White Ribbon Campaign, so they too will promote the values of equality and encouraging their peers to support an end to violence against women and girls in all forms.
It is only by men and women working together that we can change this destructive cycle and create a better future for us all.
If you are worried about yourself, a friend or family member then please do contact the services below who can offer help, support and advice to anyone experiencing domestic violence or abuse.
Local Service – Stop Abuse (covers Hampshire including Basingstoke and Hook) – Telephone: 033 0016 5112
Refuge – Freephone 24 hr Domestic Abuse helpline – 0808 2000 247
If in immediate danger then Police at 999
Find out more about White Ribbon at White Ribbon UK