Volume 94, Issue 53

Friday, December 1, 2000


NEWS

New fund gives BOG carte blanche - endowment fund OK'd

Grad exit survey questioned

Men hope to end violence with ribbons

Regina U looking to expand with help

Liberal victory means more than just a win

Former council bids farewell

Corroded Disorder

Men hope to end violence with ribbons

By Lindsay Mattick
Gazette Staff

Putting and end to violence against women is the aim of an annual awareness campaign currently underway in London.

The white ribbon campaign to end the violence of men against women, began earlier this week and runs until Dec. 6. The campaign began in 1991 as a reaction to the Montreal Massacre, in which 14 women were killed at École Polytechnique on Dec. 6, 1989.

"There are 40 women in Canada killed by intimate partners every year," said Phil Arnold, London area co-ordinator for the white ribbon campaign. "There were three more women killed in Southwestern Ontario just this past summer. We have to stop ignoring the problem. The things men can do is start admitting there are other men who have a problem. Only a percentage of men are violent and abusive."

Arnold said people have to recognize violence against women is a community problem, adding people must stop ignoring domestic abuse by their neigbours, due to the common held belief that it is none of their business.

He said the anti-violence message is spreading at an extremely slow pace within society. "It took how many years to make smoking socially unacceptable and we still don't tell men not to beat up their wives. If a man has ever stopped and asked 'is what I'm doing right?' if there is ever a moment of doubt in their actions, then they need get help."

"Abuse against women is a huge problem in society – one in four women are battered or abused," said Megan Walker, executive director of the London Battered Women's Advocacy Centre.

Walker said the purpose of the campaign is for men to take responsibility for violence against women, adding awareness is so important because it makes men accountable. "Men, as well as women, must get involved to create a violent-free society. This campaign allows men to express their disapproval with violence against women," she added.

Ryan Holland, media relations officer for the London Police, said there was an increase in the number of domestic violence charges laid between 1998 and 1999. Two new police initiatives targetted at domestic violence are being implemented in the new year, he added.

Holland said the London police have hired a domestic abuse co-ordinator who will solely deal with the issue of domestic violence. As well,London Police have hired family consultants who will help both victims and offenders, Holland said.

"I hope the [white ribbon] campaign will reinforce the message that violence towards women is socially unacceptable," he added.

Matt Rae, an executive member of the Western's Women's Issues Network, said allegations that the white ribbon campaign is some sort of feminist conspiracy, are completely untrue.

"Men and women both look forward to a society in which women are not assaulted or abused. This campaign is necessary and progressive and is certainly not a conspiracy," he said.


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