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White Ribbon Day - Sticks, Stones, Words and Children

By Yvette Vignando - 25th November 2010

As it is such an important campaign, I felt compelled to write this very short post about White Ribbon Day. View this Clip to really understand the message of this powerful and important campaign. if you are an Australian man, take the time to swear an oath on this site: My Oath.

 

The goals of the White Ribbon Day campaign are:

1. To create wide-scale awareness about the positive role that men can play in bringing an end to violence against women;
2. To enable leadership, particularly by men and boys, to bring about social change;
3. To build collective knowledge and understanding of the effective prevention of violence against women.

I just wanted to add my small voice to this campaign. I read on the White Ribbon Day site that "In Australia, one in three women will be assaulted or abused in her lifetime. These women are our mothers, our girlfriends, our wives, our daughters, our colleagues and our friends." I read that and I can hardly imagine it is true, yet I know it is. And I also think of the children that are witnessing physical and verbal abuse in their homes every day. And I think of the effect on children bearing witness to this.

I acknowledge the incredibly difficult and important work of social workers, psychologists and counsellors around Australia who work with children who live in homes where their mothers are being abused verbally and physically. I acknowledge too that sometimes men are subject to physical and verbal violence.

And I wanted to say that the old rhyme "Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me"  is a total nonsense. Words too are hurting children all over Australia every day. When we think about violence against women on White Ribbon Day, let's also remember that violence includes words, and words hurt, deeply.


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