Why the DA Alliance Supports White Ribbon UK

In this blog post, DA Alliance co-founder Razi Hassan talks about something that is not spoken about enough – preventing violence against women.

In the UK, and around 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. Most violence against women and girls is committed by men – and we live in a world where this is normalised and even encouraged in some situations.

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

White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all of us, and our colleagues, to stand up to men’s violence against women and girls and show a united front. We are inviting our colleagues and our partner organisations to make a commitment to ending violence against women and girls.

Every year in England and Wales around 150 women are murdered by men, many of whom were a current or former partner. Things that may be dismissed as ‘small’ acts – sharing sexist jokes at work or in group chats, catcalling women in the street, or staring at women in a pub – all contribute towards creating a culture of fear and misogyny. This is unacceptable.

For such culture to change, men need to be part of the solution, and that starts with me. We need to learn how to be allies with women, think about our own behaviour and look to positively influence that of others.

This is why I 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.

White Ribbon Day 2022 coincides with the 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 taking a positive and supportive interest in this event – and we need to build on that momentum during the Men’s World Cup.

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. It doesn’t have to be like this.

Sport can be a place where men can be their best selves – where we can learn to nurture traits that we take into all parts of our lives.

Throughout the Men’s World Cup, White Ribbon UK are encouraging all men to nurture 11 of these traits, one for every member of a football team.

They are:

  1. Caring
  2. Empathetic
  3. Reflective
  4. Gentle
  5. Courageous
  6. Resilient
  7. Reliable
  8. Hopeful
  9. Principled
  10. Supportive
  11. Ally

It is important that within the DA Alliance we understand the difference we can all make to ensure our culture is of respect and equality.

We also need to create this same culture amongst our own friends and communities. If you follow the Men’s World Cup, I urge you look out for examples where these traits are shown.

You can make the White Ribbon Promise to never use, excuse or remain silent about men’s violence against women. All men can join the team to end violence against women and girls – that’s #TheGoal.

To find out more visit whiteribbon.org.uk.

The DA Alliance provides access to legal support and protection for anyone experiencing domestic abuse.