THE OTHER HALF White Ribbon Campaign
Men and women working together
Suggested Simple Messages
18th Nov 2010
This is about asking men to speak out against violence against women.
The Other Half is a new alliance of men and women working together.
Today, we are launching our first national White Ribbon Campaign.
Today we are inviting men to take three simple steps to start breaking the silence on men’s violence against women. We are asking them to:
- Speak out against violence against women.
- Wear a white ribbon to say no to violence against women.
- Sign up on our website whiteribbon.ie to show support for this campaign.
The white ribbon campaign can help raise awareness about violence against women. It can support men to talk openly about violence. Above all, it tells men that we need you to join with women to help address it.
(What it can’t do on its own is tackle the huge issue that is violence against women in Ireland. It is just the start of a larger campaign. Over the coming months and years The Other Half will be developing further plans and ideas to work with men and to continue to encourage them to break the silence on violence against women.)
Our Irish campaign is part of the global White Ribbon Campaign which was first established in Canada in 1990. It will run throughout the 16 days of action against violence against women, until December 10th.
Violence is a very serious issue, affecting women across Ireland every single day.
In Ireland nearly one in five women report that they have experienced violence at some point in their lives. It is an enormous problem that affects every community. Women experience rape, physical assaults, emotional and financial abuse and many other forms of exploitation every day.
Statistics from 2009 tell us that:
In Domestic violence services:
- More than 7,500 individual women accessed their services,
- On just one day in November a snap shot census found that 368 women and 291 children were accommodated or received support from a domestic violence service and
- Between 2007 and 2009 services saw a 43% increase in the number of women accessing domestic violence services.
In Rape Crisis Centres:
- 1,319 individual women received counselling and / support across 13 RCNI member RCCs.
- 9 out of every 10 of the women knew the perpetrator of the sexual violence,
- 1 in 3 had been assaulted by a partner or ex partner (28.4%).
- There was 23,307 helpline calls to 14 rape crisis centres.
We are asking men to speak out and to break their silence on violence against women.
Men listen to men. Men can exert influence over their friends in a way that women alone can’t do. If men who are violent hear men speak out against that violence it can have a huge impact.
We’re asking men to break their silence because their silence is helping to condone the violence of others.
We know that men are kind, caring and loving. They are against violence.
We all have men in our lives who are kind, caring and loving. Men have mothers, sisters, aunts, nieces … They are concerned for the safety and wellbeing of the women they care about.
However, there are men who abuse women.
Men can help stop this abuse by speaking out against it, to follow their instincts and to be supported to do so – which The Other Half and this White Ribbon Campaign aims to do.
Three leading national organisations, SI, RCNI and the MDN, have joined forces to encourage and rally Irish men to become part of the solution to ending violence against women. We want men to speak out against violence against women. Men make up half the population. However, for a variety of reasons, violence against women has been largely tackled by women and has, by default, been seen as a women’s issue. The Other Half believes that it is time to move on from this and to recognise men – or the other 50% of the population – as potentially powerful allies against men’s violence against women.