Frequently Asked Questions
How can I help the campaign?
There are many ways in which an individual can help White Ribbon UK.
Firstly, we encourage men to wear a white ribbon and pledge never to commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.
If you would like to do more in your community or further afield, we have programmes available which include full training and resources for being active bystanders, putting on events and campaigning for the cause. For men we have our ambassador programme (apply here), and for all other genders our champions programme (apply here)
How can my organisation do more?
Why does the campaign focus on 'male violence', when all genders are capable of abuse?
The important thing to recognise here is that there are already campaigns and charities that focus on the other victims, and are very helpful in those circles:
Mankind helps male victims of domestic violence, and provide extensive research on the subject. Here is a PDF of their current figures.
There are also other charities, such as
Galop who help LGBT victims
Tender who primarily focus on young people
and Women's Aid, Rape Crisis and Refuge, who help women directly - as male violence against women is a systemic problem:
"Men are conditioned by every aspect of our society from an early age to feel a sense of superiority over women, and to objectify women. Violence against women is the most extreme conclusion of a belief – nurtured over thousands of years – that women are subservient and exist to satisfy men. Rape, assault and murder exist on a continuum that begins with degrading jokes and comments; cat-calling in the street; images that objectify women; the shouting down of women for daring to have an opinion, often involving insults about their physical appearance on social media. Boys around the world grow up being taught it’s acceptable; they also feel in some ways that it’s part of what it is to be a man." - source.
As such, the largest number of violent incidents involve men against women. We are here to stop that by encouraging men to be part of a conversation that is still largely considered a women's issue.
What is the definition of ‘violence against women’?
White Ribbon uses the definition of men’s violence against women found in the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women: ‘any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivations of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.’
The impact of this violence on women can be physical, sexual and psychological. Violence against women can also result in death: women die from the negative health effects of violence and some are killed.
Violence against women affects women’s well-being and prevents them from fully participating in society. It also impacts on families, the community and the nation.
Why can't women become Ambassadors?
Since White Ribbon UK started in 2005, the primary
focus of the campaign has been to encourage men to
engage other men in talking about violence against
women and girls.
This mission has not changed. It is essential that men take responsibility, as this is still widely regarded as a women’s issue.
Ambassadors are the men who have signed up as active members of the campaign.
Though our aim is to engage men, involving women in the campaign is essential for 2 reasons:
1. Most of the work in UK front line services, refuges counselling etc., is done by women. Since we started this campaign, women have wanted to help us to engage men.
2. The campaign is about engaging men in taking action against violence towards women and girls. It is not about men ‘riding in to save the day’. Men must ASK, LISTEN, then ACT. This is where our Champions come in.
We must work with women to ensure we are helping in the right way.
Click here to become a White Ribbon UK Champion.