Men urged to stand up against domestic abusers

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A YORKSHIRE charity which employs just two people is hoping to make a nationwide impact in a campaign urging men to take a stand against domestic violence.

The White Ribbon Campaign, based in Mytholmroyd, near Halifax, has teamed up with councils, schools and churches to challenge violence against women and girls.

Tomorrow is White Ribbon Day when men and boys are urged to wear a ribbon and pledge “never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women”.

The charity wants men to “take a stand” against violence but a spokesman said that this message was not meant as an encouragement to physical confrontation with abusers.

“We want people to step up in an intellectual way. We are trying to create a social movement that finds it completely unacceptable and not to excuse it by saying things like ‘he had been drinking and she was nagging him’.

“We would encourage people to take action but in a safe way. If they hear someone being beaten up next door, they should call police, rather than do what a lot of people do and ignore it.

“If they see something in the street they should ring the police and not try to get involved.”

The charity has teamed up with Restored, a Christian group campaigning against violence towards women.

White Ribbon manager Chris Hancox said: “We are asking all churches and chapels to mark White Ribbon Day by making the theme of their sermons and readings anti violence against women.

“People generally are not aware of how extensive these crimes are, or the horrendous effect they have on their victims.

“Given that White Ribbon Day falls on a Sunday, we are encouraging churches to spread the message and get people to make a stand.”

The two organisations have developed a guide to quotes from the Bible and stories that reflect the Christian perspective.

They hope this will help people to draft their sermons or find appropriate readings.

Peter Grant, from Restored, said: “We have contacted the hierarchy of the main churches in the country, asking them to encourage the preachers to support our campaign, which is clearly in line with Christian beliefs.

“The more people that stand up against domestic violence, the less perpetrators can hide and the easier it is for women to report such incidents.”

The White Ribbon Campaign has been working with organisations for seven years to raise awareness on the issue of violence against women.

The spokesman added: “Our vision is for a future where violence against women and girls is eradicated and that women can walk down a dark street, or sit in their front room, without fear of violence. Where men see women as their equals and not as sexual objects and society as a whole reflects this.”

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