Bill O’Brien joins White Ribbon as an Ambassador
May 25, 2016
White Ribbon proud to announce Bill O’Brien as a White Ribbon Ambassador
Bill O’Brien a former police officer, now writer and anti-violence advocate has taken on the role of White Ribbon Ambassador, a decision spurred by his previous experiences and research.
White Ribbon is a campaign that educates men about non-violent attitudes towards women. The campaign aims to end family violence, the seriousness of which is indicated by the 100,000 incidents which police attended in 2014. Ambassadors are a key way in which the White Ribbon Campaign challenges the behaviour of abusive men and builds support and visibility for non-violence.
“White Ribbon welcomes Bill as a White Ribbon Ambassador,’ says Rob McCann, White Ribbon Committee Campaign Manager. “This is a man who stands side by side with Lesley Elliott and the Sophie Elliott Foundation, delivering the kind of messages that our youth need to hear. Now White Ribbon will be able to benefit from that knowledge and commitment.”
Mr O’Brien has seen the trauma associated with violent behaviour during a 35-year-long policing career and is now a Trustee with the Sophie Elliott Foundation, where he advocates zero tolerance for abuse. Bill manages foundation aspects of the nationwide police run Loves-Me-Not workshops in schools.
“This is an opportunity for the Sophie Elliott Foundation and White Ribbon to work even more closely,” says Mr O’Brien, “ ensuring both boys and girls hear the same messages about respectful relationships.”
“I feel that people need to understand and appreciate the benefits of having a respectful relationship. By speaking out and educating young people about respect, we are shaping the well-being of communities.”
This year, White Ribbon will expand upon their ‘Respectful Relationships Campaign’, a building block which promotes concepts like consent and healthy communication techniques that help to protect against violence.
“I’ve seen the after effects of violence,” says Mr O’Brien. “It destroys lives and that’s why my focus is now directed at our youth. We need to ensure that they do not grow up and make the same violent choices that too many adults make. Research internationally indicates that the most effective way of reducing violence is through education.”
“I hope my role as a White Ribbon Ambassador will ensure that violence is not seen as an option for boys or acceptable to girls.”
Sophie Elliott Foundation