Last month, to celebrate National Volunteer Week, White Ribbon invited Ambassadors to share their thoughts on why being a White Ribbon Ambassador was important to them. Some of the inspiring responses that came back to us were:
A civilised society protects, defends and speaks up for those vulnerable to abuse of all forms. I wear my badge and wrist band whenever possible and am often asked to explain: I do so with pride and pleasure. I am surprised at the interest and gratified at the response, especially from men, that the answer evokes: men’s violence against women is utterly unacceptable. Living without the fear or threat of violence is something I enjoy and it should be the right of all regardless of sex, ethnicity, race, religion or disability.
Chris Lane, TAS
Being a White Ribbon Day Ambassador is vital to me because of the amazing women in my life. My mother, sisters, girlfriend, boss and female friends are all incredible people who deserve every respect, and I am proud to spend my time volunteering for such a great cause. Unfortunately, women are still often the target of violence in our society, and I am using my role as a son, brother, boyfriend and friend to show my support and change things for the better.
Noel Hanssens, NT
Being a White Ribbon Ambassador is important to me because, fundamentally, it distresses me to see anyone's basic human rights being breached due to violent abuses of power. Sadly, a large majority of such violence — whether committed by a loved one, an aquaintance, a stranger, or even an entire army — is gender-based, with stereotypes of traditional gender roles fuelling men's violence towards women. White Ribbon is vital because it challenges the pervasive sexist attitudes that underly, and are often used to justify, the perverse version of masculinity that tolerates, if not promotes, the violent domination of men over women.
Asher Preston, VIC
I’m happy to respond to the question of what being a White ribbon Ambassador means to me, and why we need to continue with the message. As an ambassador, I wear the white ribbon every day within the workplace, and when I attend many other forums/functions. I have one on every jacket/suit I wear. I can get asked what the Ribbon represents, and I tell the person why, and what it stands for, as I regularly do. It is an important identifier to get the message to people that Violence against Women is not tolerated, and especially by myself as an Ambassador.
John Fendyk, VIC
In my role as a Police Chaplain I have come to learn that in my region we have the highest rate of family violence in the State of Victoria.
This deeply concerns me. For me, my family, my church and my Police associates; we want to do all in our power to stem this tide and see these figures change for the better.
Craig Anderson, VIC
To learn more about the White Ribbon Ambassadors Program, click here.