Take The Pledge this November
September 4, 2013
Family violence in New Zealand is a national issue, with one in three women experiencing violence in her lifetime. Despite such high numbers of women experiencing violence in New Zealand, family violence is an issue that typically occurs behind closed doors and is an issue that the majority of society feel uncomfortable talking about. This violence occurs on a continuum, with some violent acts proving fatal for a number of women, whilst others are deemed to be ‘less’ extreme. However, all violence against women, regardless of how bad it is, is unacceptable. And it is time that we, as men, stand up and take responsibility for this violence to activate change among our families, friends, and communities.
This year’s White Ribbon campaign focuses on a call to action, by men (and women and children), to take ownership of violence against women. The Pledge has been a central component of previous campaigns, but it is our sole focus in 2013. The aim of The Pledge is simple: White Ribbon wishes for thousands of men to “promise to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women”. The Pledge is taken online, which means that men will be provided with information via email that will help them build The Pledge into their lives. This information is crucial, as taking The Pledge without following through to make change is simply not enough.
White Ribbon will be developing four short videos to go along with The Pledge. The first video covers what the issue of violence is, the types of behaviours that are unacceptable and what men can do to help reduce violence against women. The other three videos will feature our White Ribbon Ambassadors speaking about the three parts of The Pledge – never committing – never condoning – or remaining silent about violence towards women. These videos will contain easy to digest information and practical ways that men can build these promises into their lives. We believe that this is vital in ensuring that the commitment these men have made through The Pledge is kept, and used to activate change among their families, friends, and communities.
As the emphasis throughout the campaign will be to get men (and women and children) to take The Pledge, we need your support to make this a reality. As you are putting together your events, we ask that you think about the ways you can build The Pledge into your messaging and into the event on the day. As The Pledge can be taken online, you could provide a laptop at your events if that was an option. As well as this, there will be a hard copy version available to be printed that you can encourage your audience to fill out. You can then send the hard copies to the White Ribbon team who can enter the data for you. Lastly, there will be downloadable signage that you can use at your event to support this activity.
Your support and contribution to The Pledge will help to activate change, increase levels of awareness about family violence in the community, and ultimately make our society a safer one for our women and children. So be a part of change and take The Pledge in November for a safer place for our women; those women who are our family, friends and our communities.