On the afternoon of 6 December 1989, a man walked into the École Polytechnique University in Montreal and massacred 14 of his female classmates. His actions traumatised a nation and brought the issue of violence against women to the forefront of our collective consciousness. A handful of men in Toronto decided they had a responsibility to speak out about and work to stop men’s violence against women.  As a result, the White Ribbon Campaign in Canada became an annual awareness-raising event, held between 25 November and 6 December. In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly declared 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, with a white ribbon as its iconic symbol. White Ribbon began in New Zealand in 2004 as part of UNIFEM (now UN Women). The Families Commission became the lead agency in 2006 and now the White Ribbon Campaign Trust is responsible for the campaign.

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