White Ribbon Day 2022: Supporting the #goal to end male violence against women and girls

Today is White Ribbon Day, a day where across the world the focus is on preventing violence against women and girls.

In the UK, and across the world, women and girls are unable to live the lives they want to lead because of violence, and the fear of violence and harassment. What’s more, we live in a world where male violence against women is normalised and even encouraged in some situations.

2021 was the year that saw a national conversation start about the state of this issue, following the murders of Sarah Everard, Bibaa Henry, Nicole Smallman, Sabina Nessa and many others whose names may not have made the headlines.

However, while there is more awareness of the issue than ever before, the violence is getting worse.

In England and Wales, a total of 40,572 women were victims of sexual assault in the year ending September 2021, an increase of 13% from the previous year. This is the highest number of sexual offences ever recorded within a 12-month period – and despite a large proportion of this time being under Covid-19 lockdown.

I am a White Ribbon Ambassador because I want change – and I know that as an individual, and especially as a man, I can make a difference by speaking out.

Afterall men and only men can be the solution – because we are the problem.

This year, White Ribbon Day falls on the same week as the start of the FIFA men’s World Cup.

In July, we saw a huge outpouring of support for the England women’s team. It seemed as if there was a real shift towards equality in sport. It was wonderful to see so many men were taking a positive and supportive interest. We need to build on that momentum as the men’s World Cup takes place.

Sadly, it is an appalling reality that major sporting events see a rise in domestic abuse incidents. The behaviour exhibited by some football fans in pubs, clubs and public spaces can also be extremely threatening and alarming for women.

The World Cup should be a time for celebration. But the lead up to the Qatar World Cup has laid bare how the beautiful game has an ugly side when it comes to violence against women.

It doesn’t have to be like this.

So, there has never a better time for us to focus on the good that can come from unifying and supporting one common cause. All men can join the team to end violence against women and girls – that’s #TheGoal.

#TheGoal highlights eleven traits that men and boys can nurture, each representing a player in a football team. It calls on the need to shift expectations that violent and abusive behaviour and attitudes are normal and cannot be changed. All men and boys can commit to equality and safety for women and girls to live the lives they want to lead without fear of violence. This is always #TheGoal.

Organisations and individuals across England and Wales are supporting the campaign, including football clubs at all levels, emphasising unity and desire to change harmful cultures and end violence against women.

CCgroup is proud to be a White Ribbon Supporter Organisation and we have committed to the following actions to raise awareness and help us prevent violence against women before it starts:

  1. Encourage all staff to make the White Ribbon Promise and to never commit, excuse, or remain silent about men’s violence against women.
  2. Appoint a senior member of staff with strategic responsibility to be a White Ribbon Ambassador.
  3. Encourage staff to wear a White Ribbon on the 25th
  4. Post the ‘White Ribbon Supporter’ badge on our website.
  5. Hold a fundraising event to raise awareness and support the campaign.
  6. Create policies and protocols for our staff to disclose that they are experiencing violence and abuse.
  7. Make sure women and girls know where to get help.

Beyond these commitments, it is important that within CCgroup, we understand the difference we can all make to ensure we have a culture of respect and equality. We also need to create this same culture amongst our own friends and communities.

We support White Ribbon by saying enough is enough and taking steps to end all violence against women. For too long, it has been up to women to feel they have to keep themselves safe – together we can change this.

There has never been a better time to unite and make a stand.

Written by Daniel Lowther


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