November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. It’s also the start of the White Ribbon Campaign which brings men together to end violence against women. It also kicks of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence which includes the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women on December 6 and ends on International Human Rights Day on December 10.
This year’s theme is #MYActionsMatter. It’s a call to action that asks everyone to take concrete steps to question, call in, and speak up against acts of gender-based violence. Abuse and violence can happen in any relationship and between different genders, but the reality is men are more likely to use physical and sexual violence against women. No matter what abuse is never ok. Abuse is always a choice. If you are experiencing abuse, remember it is not your fault, and no one deserves abuse. If you know about abuse that is happening, or if you are experiencing abuse tell someone you trust. Teens in Manitoba can also use phone lines for support. The Klinic Crisis Line is 204-786-8686 or 1-888-322-3019, Kids Help Phone is 1-800-668-6868, both are free.
We all have a role in ending gender based violence. The White Ribbon Campaign is an opportunity for men to show their commitment to ending violence against women. What can men do to help?
- Think about the kind of man you want to be. Be true to yourself.
- Be respectful towards women, girls, trans/gender neutral people and other guys. Sexism, transphobia and homophobia hurts us all.
- Never use force, threats, or violence in your relationships with others.
- Always ask for consent. Whether it’s holding hands, kissing, or more, we always have to ask.
- Wear a white ribbon and speak out against violence against women.
- Be a role model to other guys and share with those around you the importance of respecting women and girls
- Learn about the impact of violence against women in our communities.
- Speak out against hurtful language, sexist jokes, and bullying.
- Accept your role as a guy in helping end violence against women. It affects everyone.
- Start a White Ribbon Club or Campaign in your school or community.