White Ribbon is an international charity that strives to stop male violence against women, and this Friday the 25th Australia is rallying in support. Here are some practical steps you can take for this important cause.
Request a fEMPOWER workshop for your school
Founded last year by Sydney University students, fEMPOWER is run by volunteers who travel to high schools. As their website states, their aim is “to educate young people on feminist issues, ranging from representation in the media to sexual harassment and domestic violence.”
Learning about feminism isn’t an activity just for women. Since a third of Australian women have experienced violence at the hands of a man, feminism is something boys urgently need to understand.
Attend a local White Ribbon Day event by using this map
November 26th this year is the 25th anniversary of White Ribbon being founded by a group of feminist men in Ontario in response to the École Polytechnique massacre. There’s over 50 events across the Sydney region on Friday, ranging from a BBQ in Penrith to a football match in Castle Hill.
Are you worried about your own behaviour or of a man you know?
Though dark back streets are seen as the most dangerous place for women, statistically they’re in greater danger in their own homes. An average of one Australian woman is killed every week by a current or former partner.
It’s important to know the signs of an abusive relationship so you can identify if you or someone you know is developing abusive behaviours towards women, which include much more than just physical violence. Organisations such as The Line, Mens Line, and White Ribbon offer support and advice to steer you out of these dangerous patterns.
Take a walk in someone else’s shoes by reading real life stories
If you’ve never experienced gendered violence, you’re lucky, but it might be hard for you to see why this issue is so important. Reading other people’s stories brings home how violence can happen to anyone. Today Western Sydney MP Emma Husar opened up about her experiences of domestic violence as a child and how they still affect her now.
Talk to a woman/girl about domestic violence
Unfortunately you might not have to look very far for a real life domestic violence story. Given the statistics, a third of the women you interact with on a daily basis will have experienced violence by a man.
One of these women might be your mother, daughter or girlfriend, so give them the opportunity to discuss this topic with you. White Ribbon Day is also a great opportunity to discuss how they can protect themselves from it.
It’s doesn’t matter what your age or gender is, violence against women is everybody’s issue and the more people who talk about it, the better.