Today you might notice commuters on your train or bus trip wearing a little white ribbon or sporting a white wristband. You might also see a few work colleagues with the exact same accessories. So what’s this all about?
The Shocking Stats
It’s horrifying but true that an average of one woman a week is killed in Australia by a current or former male partner. Indeed, the extent of men’s violence against women is one of Australia’s most shameful secrets.
One of too Many Tales of Domestic Violence
White Ribbon Ambassador and Victorian of the year, John Caldwell, knows only too intimately how awful domestic violence against women is. “As a little kid I would hide under my bed… and wishing I wasn’t so helpless.”
“Supporting White Ribbon has been a way for me to take back the power that domestic violence took from me,” he says. “It might be too late to protect my mother and sisters but through White Ribbon I hope to help the thousands of women dealing with this problem today.”
What is White Ribbon Day?
White Ribbon Day is a day when men and women across Australia wear a white ribbon or wristband as a symbol of their commitment to end violence against women.
It’s held on 25 November each year which is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
More about White Ribbon Australia
White Ribbon Australia is a male-led campaign that raises awareness among Australian men and boys about the roles they can play to prevent violence against women. The campaign calls for blokes to speak out and take an oath swearing never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women. They have programs in schools, workplaces and in other locations across the community.
“My personal message is simple,” says John. “It’s not cool to degrade, belittle or hit women. I ask all men to do what they can – to work within their circles, to influence their mates, work colleagues and family. If we all start somewhere we can make a change.”
How to Show Your Support
You can back the White Ribbon Day campaign by purchasing and wearing a White Ribbon wristband or ribbon. These can be bought from participating retailers, including Suzanne Grae, The Salvation Army (QLD, NSW, ACT), Telstra stores or the White Ribbon shop. You can also take part in one of the many White Ribbon events taking place across Australia.