25th November 2023
White Ribbon Day
I have been running refuges for women and children fleeing domestic abuse for the last fourteen years. At I Choose Freedom we have three refuges that accommodate and support thirty women and up to sixty children. In all my years we have always run our refuges at nearly 100% occupancy. We usually turn away four families for every one we can support. These figures go some way to showing the reality of male violence against women. It is unending and often disheartening.
What I have realised over the years is, something needs to change. We need to get men involved in ending violence against women. We need men to create a culture shift where casual misogyny through to violence against women is ended. We, as a society, are capable of shifting our views. An example of this is how we changed the acceptability of drinking and driving by calling it out and letting offenders know that we find it unacceptable. In the same way, men need to start letting other men know that they do not find misogyny acceptable. First, we need to recognise misogyny in ourselves and in others and then go about challenging it.
An opportunity to do this exists by joining the White Ribbon Campaign. The White Ribbon Campaign (WRC) is a global movement of men and boys working to end male violence against women and girls. It was formed by a group of pro-feminist men in London, Ontario, in November 1991 as a response to the École Polytechnique massacre of female students by Marc Lépine in 1989. The campaign aims to raise awareness about the prevalence of male violence against women.
White Ribbon Day is an International Day of Awareness, where men and boys show their commitment to ending violence against women and girls. This year’s theme is #ChangetheStory.
Changing the story could involve challenging yourself to start to identify examples of misogyny. When you can identify it, can you change the story by challenging it?
If you want to support the work we do, particularly in the run up to Christmas, please visit our website www.ichoosefreedom.co.uk and donate. Or choose a gift from our Christmas wish lists for a woman or child living in our refuges https://www.ichoosefreedom.co.uk/news/all-i-want-for-christmas
Charlotte Kneer MBE DL
I Choose Freedom Charity
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