On March 22, I wrote a short beat on the White Ribbon Campaign, which advocates to end violence against women. This article also features the organization’s campaign “Walk A Mile In Her Shoes.” Read it on the Original Magazine’s website here or read it below:
Title: Walking A Mile In Her Shoes
Subtitle: Global organization of men fight to end violence against women
In 2010, it was found that 1 in 5 women surveyed said they had been raped or experienced an attempted rape and 1 in 4 reported having been beaten by an intimate partner, according to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease and Control. It sampled a national representative of 16,507 adults, including victims of sexual violence, rape, expressive psychological aggression and coercive control, and control of reproductive or sexual health. Violence against women is still prevalent in the United States.
Organizations across the globe, such as the White Ribbon Campaign, have shown support and true effort to end violence against women. The White Ribbon Campaign was founded in 1991 and had their male members wear white ribbons that year as a sign of commitment to never commit or condone violence against women. Within six weeks, 100,000 men across Canada donned a white ribbon. Since 2008, the White Ribbon Campaign has hosted their annual “Walk A Mile In Her Shoes” march, where men come together in support and solidarity, marching in women’s shoes. Now, it is the “world’s largest movement” of males working to end violence against women, and has become a global organization.
On March 1, 2014, Acadia University athletes joined the “Walk A Mile In Her Shoes” campaign and marched Wolfville’s downtown in women’s shoes, to celebrate International Women’s Day and the right of women to be safe on their campus.
Similarly, Fort Hays State University’s 40-plus Greek brothers and sisters strutted through campus for their sixth annual “Walk a Mile In Her Shoes” fundraiser. Over the years, more than $5000 has been raised, and this year, $875 was raised for Options Domestic and Sexual Violence Services. In addition, donations were made to Jana’s Campaign, a Hays-based movement to reduce gender and relationship violence.
“‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ [is] a statement about men’s role in ending violence against women; an issue that is connected to strict gender roles and expectations of men,” reads a statement on the White Ribbon Campaign’s site, “We want to show that we’ll do whatever it takes to make this a safer world for everyone.”
Their goal is to raise awareness in this form of protest, and to increase educational and emergency resources for women through fundraising efforts, such as Fort Hays State University’s annual fundraisers.
Most recently, on March 6, 2014, the White Ribbon Campaign launched a new project in which they urge college men to seek sexual consent and respect women across campuses nationwide. However, there is still work to be done. Still, college students have yet to be educated on the prevalence of female sexual violence, on the conversation about sexual consent, and on the equality between men and women. If the White Ribbon campaign has been globalized, this impact should be seen on every college campus across North America.
It’s time to step up, address, and prevent the longstanding issue of sexual violence, once and for all.