November 25th is marked internationally as White Ribbon Day, a day where across the world the focus is on preventing violence against women.
In England, and across the world, women and girls are unable to live the lives they want to lead because of violence and the fear of violence and harassment. Most violence against women and girls is committed by men – and we live in a world where this is normalised and even encouraged in some situations.
I am a White Ribbon Ambassador because I want there to be change and I know that as an individual, and especially as a man, I can make a difference by speaking out.
This is an opportunity for all of us, and our colleagues, to stand up to men’s violence against women and girls and show a united front. We are inviting our colleagues and our partner organisations to make a commitment to ending violence against women and girls.
Simply visit the White Ribbon UK website here to make the White Ribbon Promise never to use, excuse or remain silent about men’s violence against women.
The message of White Ribbon UK is that ALL men can make a difference. Every year in England and Wales around 150 women are murdered by men, many of whom were a current or former partner. Things that may be dismissed as ‘small’ acts – sharing sexist jokes at work or in group chats, catcalling women in the street, or staring at women in a pub – all contribute towards creating a culture of fear and misogyny. This is unacceptable.
For such culture to change, men need to be part of the solution, and that starts with me. We need to learn how to be allies with women, think about their own behaviour and look to positively influence that of others.
This is why I support White Ribbon by saying enough is enough and taking steps to end all violence against women.For too long, it has been up to women to feel they have to keep themselves safe – together we can change this.
White Ribbon Day 2022 coincides with the Men’s World Cup. In July, we saw a huge outpouring of support for the England Women’s team. It seemed as if there was a real shift towards equality in sport. It was wonderful to see so many men were taking a positive and supportive interest. We need to build on that momentum as we approach the Men’s World Cup.
Sadly, it is an appalling reality that major sporting events see a rise in domestic abuse incidents. The behaviour exhibited by some football fans in pubs, clubs and public spaces can also be extremely threatening and alarming for women. It doesn’t have to be like this.
Sport can be a place where men can be their best selves – where [they/we] can learn to nurture traits that [we/they] take into all parts of their lives. Throughout the Men’s World Cup, White Ribbon UK are encouraging all men to nurture 11 of these traits, one for every member of a football team.
It is important that within Fat Beehive, we understand the difference we can all make to ensure our culture is of respect and equality. We also need to create this same culture amongst our own friends and communities. If you follow the Men’s World Cup, within your team, as well as at home, I urge you look out for examples where these traits are shown.
If you want to go further, you can make the White Ribbon Promise to never use, excuse or remain silent about men’s violence against women. All men can join the team to end violence against women and girls – that’s #TheGoal
Here are some practical actions you may also like to consider:
- Visit Refuge’s website here to find out how to support someone who may be experiencing domestic abuse
- Store the National Domestic Abuse Helpline / your local Domestic Abuse support service numbers in your phone
- Visit White Ribbon UK website to find out more about how you can show allyship
Follow White Ribbon UK on social media: