WHITE RIBBON DAY

img_0079A woman dies every 3 days on average in the UK from gender-based violence, be it homicide or suicide. White Ribbon Day happens every year to make men and boys aware that this sort of treatment towards women and girls is wrong, immoral and very, very hurtful. These terms are understatements, since words cannot describe what the devastating effects of gender-based violence causes. Grief, anger, and disgust are how I, and so many other people feel about the people who have committed such atrocious acts towards women and girls, just because of their gender. Beating, rape, and blackmail are just some of the examples of abuse that happen towards women, but the list goes on.

Today is White Ribbon Day, a day of raising awareness about gender-based abuse towards women. On this day, many men and boys will help increase awareness about abuse towards women, and pledge that they will respect women and never be abusive towards them in any way, shape or form. By pledging, they also agree not to condone or stay quiet about the issue, and to discuss the matter with their family and friends to increase awareness.

img_5139Yesterday, I met up with hundreds of members in the community for a candle march around the town centre to help raise awareness, including Joyce Watson, AM for Mid and West Wales, as well as Rhian Bowen Davies, the National Advisor for Violence against Women. The movement received a lot of support from the police, fire service, local charities, and most importantly, the community in itself. Many men and boys signed a pledge which said that they will never partake in any violence towards women, and that they will raise awareness in order to put an end to harassment, domestic and sexual abuse towards women.

This is the 5th year in which our community has supported White Ribbon Day, and there has been a fantastic turnout each year. The mayor, councillors, charity workers and many other members of the community have been very supportive by attending last night, especially the men and boys who have promised to respect women by never taking part in any form of gender-based hatred.
                                          

                                                                                            

Last night, I was representing the local youth council by taking in everything that was being said. Many of the speeches were very powerful regarding the matter. One brave woman even shared her own experience about gender-based violence, since she lost her daughter as a result of it. To do this takes a great amount of courage and bravery, and it really hits home how devistating all this abuse can be. This violence tears apart families. It needs to stop.

I will be sharing what I experienced last night with my friends and the youth council, and I really hope that we can work together to find a solution to raise awareness about this issue. Gender-based violence needs to stop now.

By Kai Silverthorne

Visit Kai's website for more information and how to donate to the cause!