White Ribbon Day
White Ribbon Day is a campaign that aims to foster healthy relationships and safe environments in our communities. Hosted 20 November, the campaign is about raising awareness to end gendered violence, specifically men’s violence against women and children.
The White Ribbon Campaign is a global social movement and has been run in Australia since 1992. The white ribbon symbolises the idea of ‘men giving up their arms’, and creating healthier relationships and gender equality. It is the world’s largest movement engaging men and boys to end violence again women, and build healthy and respectful relationships in our communities.
Statically talking, violence against women is at epidemic levels. When it comes to sexual harassment in Australia, 1 in 2 women will experience it at some point during her lifetime.
But it doesn’t stop there. 1 in 6 women have experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or previous partner, and 1 in 4 have experience emotional abuse. Further, one woman is murdered every week by her current or former partner. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased unemployment, and created greater pressure and tensions within households. Just because we may not see it, doesn’t mean the violence and abuse isn’t there.
Keeping our children safe and out of harm’s way is at the forefront of our minds. It’s hard to comprehend, but one in four Australian children are exposed to domestic violence at some point in their lives. This can change, but only when violence against women is addressed and stopped.
White Ribbon Australia aims to get everyone involved in the movement, from individuals and communities, to workplaces and schools. By adopting prevention approaches, educating children on equal rights and opportunities, and raising awareness of the cause, we can make a real change.
To get involved this White Ribbon Day, you could host or join an event, such as a march, webinar, meeting, lunch or something different, either in person or online. The aim is to get involved some way or another, to create change and build stronger communities that are safe and supportive for everyone. White Ribbon Australia’s vision is ‘A nation where every woman is free from all forms of men’s violence and abuse’. This is a vision we should share and work towards as individuals and as a community. It’s about creating a safe society for all. It’s about standing up, speaking out, and ending gendered violence.