Why I’m supporting White Ribbon UK to #ChangeTheStory

In this blog post, our Head of External Relations, Rosie Watson, talks about the reasons why she became a White Ribbon Champion and how we can all help to #ChangeTheStory and prevent violence against women and girls.

White Ribbon UK is the leading charity engaging men and boys to prevent violence against women and girls. I am a White Ribbon Champion because ending violence is something I feel passionately about.

November 25th each year is marked as White Ribbon Day – it is an opportunity to reflect, to draw everyone’s attention to men’s violence against women, and to focus on what we can all do to make a difference.

Through my work with the Domestic Abuse Alliance, I’ve heard many devastating and shocking first-hand accounts from victims and survivors about their experiences of abuse. That’s why I decided to become a White Ribbon Champion – and raise my voice alongside theirs – to increase awareness and challenge the problematic behaviours, gender stereotypes and inequalities that can create a culture of fear and lead to violence.

The theme for White Ribbon Day 2023, is ‘#ChangeTheStory’.  Throughout November this year many individuals and organisations are working to make consistent choices and actions to disrupt the root causes of violence so that women and girls are able to live their lives free from violence and the fear of violence. To make change happen so that violence against women is never seen as inevitable or expected.

We can all help to make this change happen. We need to start by disrupting the behaviours that are often dismissed as ‘small’ or ‘low level’ acts – sharing sexist ‘jokes’ at work or in group chats, catcalling women in the street, or harassing women on a night out.

Here are some suggestions for how we can make a difference. Learning the phrase, ‘I’m not OK with that,’ when confronted by ‘banter’ or sexist ‘jokes’ but uncertain what to do.  We can make sure we have open conversations with friends, family and colleagues where violence, sexism and misogyny are noted and spoken about. We can make sure that people know they are not alone, and that help is available. We can find out more about allyship and how men can speak up and be active in preventing violence.

Wearing a White Ribbon can be a useful conversation starter. You can consider making the White Ribbon Promise to never use, excuse or remain silent about men’s violence against women. Find out more by visiting the White Ribbon UK website.

We can all help to end men’s violence against women when we choose to #ChangeTheStory.

For more information, resources, and ways to get involved this White Ribbon Day, please visit the White Ribbon UK website: https://www.whiteribbon.org.uk/white-ribbon-day-2023

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