The White Ribbon Campaign
I applied to join the White Ribbon Campaign as an Ambassador because I feel passionately about playing my part in creating an equal world in which everyone feels safe, in which people live in healthy loving relationships and where domestic abuse in all its forms becomes a thing of the past. Equality is one of the most fundamental human rights that we should all be striving to achieve, domestic abuse is one of the clearest examples of the unequal world in which we live.
I am a father of four daughters and also have two granddaughters. I want to know that they will now and in the future be in relationships in which they can flourish, be themselves and have the best and most rewarding lives possible. It isn't much to ask, and I'm sure all dads must feel the same. Sadly, for many women that is not possible due to domestic abuse, whether that be physical, mental, emotional ... or any other form that it may present in. As a society we can work together to eradicate domestic abuse.
The worst of both worlds
During the COVID-19 lockdown a couple of years ago, the issue of domestic abuse became regular national issue, and I, like most people, was truly horrified at the levels of domestic abuse in the UK that were being reported. We all felt a great impact on our daily lives, but the one positive was that we were home, with our loved ones and safe. Sadly, home for many women and children going through this same social isolation was not the sanctuary that it should have been. Instead they were being cooped up with an abusive partner/father from whom there was no escape. The worst of both worlds! The statistics revealed through the media were horrifying and each of those was a woman or family in distress/danger.
Empowering men to call out domestic abuse
I know that most men and boys hold similar beliefs to me but that there are times when it may feel difficult for them to voice those beliefs, particularly within groups in certain social contexts. It is these social gatherings that are actually the best places to either effect changes in negative stereotypes and/or beliefs and also to condemn any abusive behaviours as a group. The White Ribbon Campaign aims to empower men to feel comfortable in condemning domestic abuse in all its forms.
I feel that parallels can be drawn with drink driving. It wasn't too many years ago that drink driving was almost socially acceptable, with the general public turning a blind eye. However, over a few decades it has reached the point that the vast majority of the population feel totally comfortable condemning the actions of drink drivers. That was caused largely by peer pressure and the same instrument can be used to help rid our society of domestic abuse.
Men can play their part in creating a virtuous cycle that will finally put an end to domestic abuse in all its forms. Not only will that free our mothers, sisters and daughters to lead happy and fulfilling lives, it will also help men to do the same.
Taking the pledge
I support the White Ribbon Campaign and will always call out any forms of domestic abuse whenever I encounter it. I would urge all men to make the pledge if they feel the same: "I promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women" #NoExcuseForAbuse.