A global movement
Often it takes a tragedy to start a social movement. Such was the genesis of White Ribbon.
Armed with a gun, Marc Lépine separated students in a class at École Polytechnique de l’Université de Montréal, shouted anti-feminist sentiment and murdered 14 women. His actions traumatised a nation and brought the issue of violence against women to the forefront of our collective consciousness.
In response, a group of men in Toronto decided to speak out and work to stop men’s violence against women. These men were Jack Layton, Ron Slusser and Michael Kaufman. In 1991 they initiated a male-led movement known as White Ribbon, with an annual awareness-raising event (White Ribbon Day) held between 25 November and 6 December.
It is now an international effort in over 57 countries, of men and boys working to end violence against women.