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White Ribbon Campaign at Trent: Dec. 6

On December 6, Canada's National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, Trent University male students, staff and faculty members will have an opportunity to make a personal pledge.

At the Traill Dining Hall from noon until 1 p.m. and the Bata Library from 9:15 a.m. until 1 p.m., students from Trent's Health and Counselling sub-committee will have tables set-up where men can sign in personal support of an end to violence against women and pick up a white ribbon. This campus initiative is part of the broader White Ribbon Campaign - the largest effort in the world of men working to end men's violence against women. To read more, visit, www.whiteribbon.ca.

Sub-committee members, whose goal is physical and mental health education and promotion on campus, have 10 support posters, each with room for 50 signatures. It is the group's goal to collect 500 signatures and hand out 1,000 ribbons, says student committee member Kimberly Sanderson.

"The goal of any campaign is to get support for the cause, to raise awareness, and ultimately to make a difference," says Ms. Sanderson. "Trent faculty and students have a long history of strongly supporting what they believe in and hopefully that spirit of dedication will come out on Monday."

Wearing a white ribbon is a personal pledge never to commit, condone nor remain silent about violence against women.

Background information (excerpted from www.whiteribbon.ca)

Violence against women includes physical and sexual assault, sexual harassment, psychological abuse, or emotional abuse. Not all violence leaves visible scars. Emotional violence includes regular subjection to demeaning jokes, domineering forms of behaviour, and sexual harassment.

Some forms of violence have a greater physical or emotional impact than others. But all forms of violence contribute to the very real fear and suffering that women in our society endure. The basic rights that most men enjoy - safety in their homes, ability to go out at night, a job free of harassment - are a source of fear for women in much of the world.

The fear is greatest in women's own homes. A common myth is that most violence against women is committed by strangers. In fact, women are most at risk from men they know-husbands, boyfriends, fathers, relatives, employers, and care givers.

Most men love and care about women. And yet frightening numbers commit acts of violence against the women they say they love. It occurs throughout the world, among the rich, the poor, and the middle class, and among those of every nationality, religion, and race.

Posted December 2, 2004

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