This year’s White Ribbon UK Conference in London was fully attended by a diverse mix of delegates - from individual ambassadors and champions, survivors of abuse and safeguarding volunteers, to local authority and emergency services representatives.
Our speakers included Luke Hart of CoCo Awareness, who gave a fascinating insight into the mechanics and workings of a narcissist. Documentary filmmaker, Leslie Lee gave an intriguing awareness of abusive behaviour of the workplace bully, and Rosemary Hill and Stephen Burrell gave academic viewpoints on violence at gigs and festivals, and engaging men and boys. SNP MP Gavin Newlands was on hand to give an update on things from Westminster, and Bradley O’Donoghue spoke about educating and facilitating change in young people - a very important part of the process of ending male violence against women.
All our delegates were engaged and active in offering viewpoints, asking questions and giving feedback. There was significant opportunities for networking due to the mix of people there. In feedback, many said the conference had helped them to change their perspective and strategy on tackling men’s violence against women - both in their personal and professional lives.
One of the most notable things delegates stated they will do as a result of the conference, is work to engage more with young people.
Other actions delegates said they will take after the conference included:
Wear a white ribbon
Work to increase the number of Ambassadors and Champions within their own organisation
Assessing risk assessments with regards to coercive control based on Luke Hart's findings
Speak to activity clubs across their county about the importance of the White Ribbon message, and to local events organisers about having a White Ribbon stand at their next event
Contact local organisations to arrange fundraisers for White Ribbon UK
Deliver a CPD session for their organisation to cascade learning and raise awareness
Speak to local events organisers about having a White Ribbon stand at their next event
Advocate more for education about gender-based violence in schools and universities
These are all great ideas, and we look forward to working with our ambassadors, champions and accredited organisations on making them a reality.
Our keynote speaker Luke Hart summed up the necessity to change the way men see themselves before we can hope to end violent behaviour:
“Masculinity makes men miserable. Men don't talk about it…we need to address masculinity and develop men's humanity instead”.