Men take stand to end violence against women

Poster of Terry, Josh and Ashley SandersonThe Headwaters White Ribbon Committee today launched a poster campaign to end violence against women in the Dufferin Caledon region.

(Orangeville, Ontario —  June 11, 2012) The poster invites men and boys to visit the White Ribbon web site (headwaterswhiteribbon.ca) and sign a pledge NEVER TO COMMIT, CONDONE OR REMAIN SILENT about violence against women and girls.

The campaign runs between now and December and features several well-known men along with their daughters.

The first poster, which is being released just prior to Father’s Day, features Terry Sanderson, owner of Sanderson’s Sports and General Manager of the Toronto Rock, his son Josh, a twelve-year National Lacrosse League veteran, and Josh’s daughter Ashley, age 6.

“As athletes or coaches we know all about codes of honour and rules and boundaries in sports,” said Sanderson. “And when I think of my granddaughter Ashley and her future, it’s easy for me to stand up and say this – violence against women – is unacceptable.”

In the coming months new posters will be released with prominent locals such as Darryl Kirkland, Principal of ODSS; Sam Young, owner of the Shelburne Golf Club; Mayor Rob Adams of Orangeville; Kent Moore of the Shelburne Police, and others to be announced.

The Headwaters White Ribbon Committee formed this spring with the goal of raising awareness about the need to end violence against women and girls.

“We are just a bunch of guys – dads, brothers, grandfathers,” said Pete Renshaw, Chair of the committee.  “And when you hear that over half of all women and girls will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, you think ‘This is crazy, it has to stop.”

The focus of the committee is on reaching out to men and boys, particularly to the “silent majority” who already “get” the message that violence is unacceptable.

“Let’s face it, in the past too often we have kept quiet in the face of blatantly inappropriate actions or language about women and girls,” said Renshaw.  “We believe there’s a lot of power when we all speak up against this sort of behaviour…and we’re inviting men to stand together on this.”

The Headwaters committee is modelled after the national White Ribbon Campaign, which was founded in 1991 following the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal.  The white ribbon became a symbol of men’s opposition to violence against women. Today, the White Ribbon Campaign (WRC) is the largest effort in the world of men working to end violence against women.  Each year the WRC in Canada runs its campaign from from November 25 (the International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women) until December 6, Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

“Hundreds of thousands of men in Canada and around the world have participated in the White Ribbon campaign,” said Todd Minerson, Executive Director of the White Ribbon Campaign. “I applaud the Headwaters White Ribbon Committee for spearheading a new campaign in the Dufferin Caledon area.  When you see such prominent members of the community stand up like this, it sends a strong signal.  I urge everyone to visit the web site and sign the pledge to pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls.”

One of the goals of the men’s group is to strengthen ties to local women’s groups and work together. To that end, the White Ribbon Committee has connected with Family Transition Place, the local women’s shelter on Bredin Parkway.  Norah Kennedy, FTP’s Executive Director, and Travis Greenley, Youth Education Coordinator, both sit on the committee.

“It makes such an impact when you have men speaking to men on this topic,” said Kennedy.  “I am so proud to be part of a community where you have men like this who are willing to stand up and say no, violence is NEVER an option.  We at Family Transition Place share a common goal and on behalf of all women in the community I’m grateful for the work the White Ribbon Committee is doing.”

“Every month from now until December we’ll be releasing a new poster,” said Renshaw.  “The guys that have stepped up – like Terry and Josh Sanderson – it’s amazing.  There’s a deep and powerful conviction here that we need to do something, especially for the next generation of girls and young women coming up.  They have so much opportunity to live full, rich lives and they deserve the right to live free from fear of violence.”

ABOUT THE HEADWATERS WHITE RIBBON COMMITTEE

The Headwaters White Ribbon Committee is a volunteer committee. Its members include: Pete Renshaw, Chair of the Board at Family Transition Place, Blair Russell, Treasurer, Family Transition Place and VP Sales Madison Chemicals, Dave Quinton of the Ontario Provincial Police (retired), Walter Kolodziechuk, Warden of Dufferin County, Tony Maxwell, President of Headwaters Media Inc., Travis Greenley, Youth Education Coordinator, Family Transition Place and Norah Kennedy, Executive Director, Family Transition Place.

CONTACTS:

Pete Renshaw, Chair
E: pete.renshaw@hotmail.com
T: 519-942-3724

Tony Maxwell (Media Contact)
E: tmaxwell@headwatersmedia.com
T: 519-940-9805

1 thought on “Men take stand to end violence against women

  1. tmaxwell Post author

    Thanks to Chris Halliday and the Orangeville Banner for writing about us.
    http://www.orangeville.com/news/local/article/1373723–ending-violence-against-women
    Ending violence against women
    Prominent local men set an example for others

    Some of the more prominent men in the community have had enough, and are taking a stand to exterminate violence against women.

    A group of people forming the Headwaters White Ribbon Committee, launched a poster campaign in the Dufferin-Caledon area on Monday (June 11). The campaign aims to inspire men of all ages in the community to never commit, condone or remain silent when it comes to issues involving violence against women.

    Photo of  Terry Sanderson
    Photo by Chris Halliday, The Banner

    “This is just unacceptable and we need to do a better job,” said committee member Tony Maxwell. “We’re trying to encourage the silent majority among men who maybe have let it pass in the past to kind of stop and pause.”
    According to 2008 statistics from the Public Health Agency of Canada, about one in every three women experiences sexual assault during her lifetime. The committee feels those staggering statistics, and many others, must be brought further to the forefront.

    “We’re just a bunch of guys — dads, brothers, grandfathers,” committee chair Pete Renshaw said in a news release. “When you hear that over half of all women and girls will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, you think, ‘This is crazy, it has to stop’.”

    From Maxwell’s perspective, a poster campaign like this can pay dividends. The focus is to reach out to men and boys, particularly to those who already get the message that violence is unacceptable but have yet to take a stand.
    “There is plenty of evidence about the problems around violence against women are there, and if anything, they are getting worse,” he said. “We, as a group, of men felt it was time for the silent majority of us to take a stand.”
    Every month until December, the poster campaign will feature well-known local men with the important women in their lives.

    The first poster released prior to Father’s Day features Terry Sanderson, owner of Sanderson Sports and general manager of the Toronto Rock, as well as his son Josh, and his six-year-old granddaughter Ashley.
    “The poster speaks out true. I wouldn’t want (Ashley) to grow up and have to face this situation,” Terry said.

    “Something like this may protect some of the girls and women going forward. … If this helps in any little way, I’m glad I can be a part of it.”

    The poster campaign also features Orangeville District Secondary School principal Darryl Kirkland, Sam Young, owner of the Shelburne Golf and Country Club, Orangeville Mayor Rob Adams, and Shelburne Police Chief Kent Moore, among others.

    “Most of us are grandfathers or fathers,” Maxwell said. “For the sake of our daughters in particular and their future, we want to do the little bit we can to eliminate violence.”

    The posters are certainly a way to send a powerful visual message — without the need for many words. When influential figures like Sanderson step up to take part, Maxwell said it helps reach the committee’s target audience.
    “When (young men and boys) see positive role models like that, they take it to heart and pause,” he said.

    A couple years ago, Norah Kennedy, executive director of Family Transition Place (FTP), said several men on FTP’s board of directors began talking about how to get more males engaged in the issue.

    After learning the group was planning to start a men’s engagement committee, Todd Minerson, executive director of the White Ribbon Campaign, suggested they affiliate themselves with his organization.

    Members of the Headwaters White Ribbon Committee include: Renshaw, Maxwell, Kennedy, FTP treasurer Blair Russell, FTP youth education co-ordinator Travis Greenley, Dufferin County Warden Walter Kolodziechuk and retired Dufferin OPP Sgt. Dave Quinton.

    The local poster campaign invites males to visit headwaterswhiteribbon.ca and pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls.

    “I urge everyone to visit the website and sign the pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls,” Minerson said in a news release. “When you see such prominent members of the community stand up like this, it sends a strong signal.”

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