In light of Congress’s recent failure to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, it’s heartening to hear about the ongoing efforts of White Ribbon, a movement of men and boys working to end violence against women and girls.
Here in Boston, the Men’s Initiative Project of Jane Doe Inc., a coalition of community-based sexual assault and domestic violence groups, is gearing up for the sixth annual Massachusetts White Ribbon Day. The event will take place at the State House in Boston on March 7.
The event, which is open to all, aims to change societal attitudes and beliefs that perpetuate and make excuses for violence against women, promote safety and respect in all relationships and situations, and promote the safety, liberty and dignity of survivors.
Men can sign up online to be an Ambassador for the campaign and to participate in other ways.
OBOS Board member and MA White Ribbon Day co-chair Jarrett Barrios spoke about the campaign recently in an interview with New England Cable News’s BroadSide program. Jarrett talks about the negative media imagery about women that young boys receive, and the need for parents and others to take responsibility for actively countering those messages and work to address rather than excuse them.
Jarrett calls for people to wear the white ribbon, to talk to their sons about treating women with respect, and to not “let go” of or overlook the language that is used against women that is part of a culture of violence.