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Wednesday 25th November 2020 is White Ribbon Day (www.whiteribbon.org.uk) a day to reflect and challenge ourselves to oppose all violence against women. Of course, violence against anyone is completely wrong, but the truth is that the vast majority of domestic violence is perpetrated by men against women.

Empowerment is a White Ribbon Accredited organisation and as such, we promise to:

 

Never commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women

 

Empowerment’s amazing project, ‘The Den’ (Welcome to The Den) works alongside children and young people who have been traumatised by experiencing domestic violence. The team of dedicated Children’s Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (CIDVAs) work with the child or young person to help keep them safe, develop resilience and stay connected with friends, family and a wider support network. So much of this vital work involves children and young people who have experienced men being abusive and violent to their female relatives especially their Mums.

The White Ribbon campaign is about changing the culture so that male violence towards women stops happening in the first place. To achieve that, men themselves have to play a leading role in changing that very culture. Men are not born with a predisposition to being violent to women; they learn it from others. Only when we have created a society when men no longer learn and assume that violence is acceptable towards women then our work will be done… however, we have a long way to go!

Essential to this ambitious aim is to model and develop positive forms of masculinity. This is certainly not about being prescriptive about what it is to be a male, here at Empowerment, we love diversity and therefore masculinity can and should be expressed in many different ways. Nevertheless, we should stand unequivocally for a masculinity which does not include being violent towards women. That is why the work of White Ribbon goes on and why Empowerment stands proudly with others in the White Ribbon movement.

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