Orangeville Banner Editor signs White Ribbon pledge

Richard Vivian, former Editor of the Orangeville Banner, and his daughterIn an op-ed for the Orangeville Banner, Editor Richard Vivian writes about his decision to promote the Headwaters White Ribbon campaign on Facebook.
When the Headwaters White Ribbon Campaign launched last year, I joined more than 100 men in the community, so far, in vowing never to commit, condone or remain silent when it comes to issues involving violence against women.

To spread word of its online pledge form, the White Ribbon group created a series of posters featuring prominent local men with the important women in their lives, each publicly stating that violence against women is unacceptable.

Recently, I mimicked those posters, putting a photo of my 10-month-old daughter, Lucy, and I on Facebook and making the same declaration.

While we can’t all be on a poster, we can all make our feelings known, and hopefully inspire others to do the same.

Creating your own photo message is easy, free to do and gives a personal (and therefore impactful) spin on an issue that can feel bigger than we are as individuals. If we stand together, we can turn the tide.

Let’s end it now, for our daughters, granddaughters and generations that follow.

Unless we as men, and as a society, make our voices heard, women and girls will continue to be inflicted with violence and abuse. Let’s end it now, for our daughters, granddaughters and generations that follow.

(To see my photo and message, check out the Orangeville Banner Facebook page.)

I encourage all men to visit headwaterswhiteribbon.ca and join me in pledging to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls.

During the past several months, my voice has been one of many heard while working on a special project for Family Transition Place, aimed at delving into violence against women issues — both from a stranger perspective and domestic.

Dubbed The Voices Initiative, and funded by a Status of Women Canada grant, we’re taking a look at which programs and services in the community are working, what’s lacking and what’s keeping women and girls from getting the help they need.

The group — guided by the Social Innovation Research Group, which is filming a documentary about the efforts and issues — also aims to get a handle on local perceptions of safety and the prevalence of abuse in its many forms.

By identifying the problems, we hope to be able to develop solutions, or at the very least, find ways to improve upon what’s already being done.

It was during a recent group meeting that the idea for personalized White Ribbon-style Facebook messages was born, inspiring me to post one of my own.

For more information about The Voices Initiative, visit familytransitionplace.ca and look under the events tab. I also encourage everyone to check out the blog at voicesinitiative.ca and find out more about what’s happening on Facebook (just search for Voices Initiative).

While many interviews have been conducted to gather various voices, the more the better. To add yours to the conversation, post comments in response to the blog or on the Facebook page.
Source: “It’s time for all of us to take a stand,” Orangeville Banner (March 13, 2013) 

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