The White Ribbon Campaign is an international movement involving men working together towards ending male violence against women and girls. Marking the first day of 16 Days of Action on Friday 25 November, a range of activities are taking place across Leeds. Men involved in the campaign are asked to pledge ‘never to commit, condone or remain silent about male violence against women in all its forms.’
We would like to encourage men to both take the pledge and endorse the message that men and boys are a vital part of the solution in challenging and stopping all forms of violence and abuse.
Although we recognise that abuse can affect men, this campaign is asking men to think about how they can help end violence against women and girls.
Beermats and posters dispersed throughout Leeds have been designed to encourage men to think, question and reflect on their own or other men’s behaviours.
- Is it ok if your mate puts his partner down in public?
- Is it ok if your mate is always checking his girlfriend’s phone?
- Is it ok to do nothing if you hear banging, shouting and crying next door?
The simple answer is no. Abuse comes in many different forms and happens in all sections of society and to all people; including people you may know or come into contact with. Examples include:
- Checking her phone and emails
- Criticising her and lowering her self-esteem
- Controlling her finances
- Making her feel she as though she can’t see friends or family
- Cajoling, influencing and intimidating her into doing things she is not comfortable doing
If you know someone who is being frightened or intimidated by the behaviour of someone else, it is not OK.
What we can do
It can be difficult to know how you can act as an individual in order to help. The White Ribbon Campaign UK has this year introduced 10 steps for men to follow in order to help end male violence against women:
1. Be respectful towards women and girls
2. Challenge negative gender stereotypes
3. Accept that violence against women is a men’s issue
4. Speak out about violence against women
5. Wear a white ribbon
6. Seek consent – no means no
7. Take the White Ribbon pledge
8. Plan an event in your community
9. Be a good role model for men
10.Think about the kind of man you want to be
In Leeds we shall be holding stalls enabling men to make their ‘Visual Pledge’ in the city centre. These will be held at the Kirkgate Market and Leeds Train Station’s South Concourse. There will also be stalls at Leeds Beckett and Leeds Universities’ student unions, St. James Hospital, Leeds General Infirmary and the Great George Street One Stop Centre.
To spread the message of support as far as possible, we also encourage everyone to use the White Ribbon Twibbon on their social media profile pictures.