The main NGO driving the 16 Days of Activism says it believes the men in Barbados are slowly becoming sensitised to the harms domestic violence perpetrate on women.
As a result, coordinator of the ongoing Clothesline and White Ribbon Campaigns, Andrea Gittens says that today saw a number of men stepping up to pledge their names toward stopping violence against women.
The Business and Professional Women’s group today erected their campaigns in the lobby of the National Insurance Building encouraging staff and visitors to talk about violence and make pledges to do something about it if they witness it or promise not to be perpetrators.
Gittens told Barbados TODAY she was heartened by the response of the men they had spoken with, given the relative newness of the White Ribbon Campaign.
“As it pertains to the White Ribbon Campaign, you can see the board is filling up fast. We have had a number of men pass through the building today, mainly people that work in the building and they have been very receptive to the ribbon and they are also signing off that they will not commit or condone violence against women, which we are very happy for,” she said.
Gittens and a number of other advocates to end violence against women shared statistics and other information about the effects of such acts, while encouraging especially the men to get involved.
“As you can see we are also hanging our Clothesline project again today, which is T-shirts with the stories of women depicted on them and as we try to stress, the white one were done by relatives or friends of victims who have passed away. So people are very receptive…
“We always get the men saying well we are victims too, but as you start to talk about the statistics as pertains to women then they become more open-minded. Because the White Ribbon Campaign is relatively new to Barbados, the men are now being exposed to it. Some have never really heard about it before so they are now being exposed and becoming aware of it and what it is about,” she added.
Tomorrow, men are expected to don their heels and other female shoes for the Young Women’s Christian Association’s Walk A Mile In Her Shoes observance which begins at 4p.m., at Cheapside by the General Post Office and ends in Independence Square. The event aims to raise awareness about gender-based violence in society by having men literally walk a mile in the shoes of a woman. (LB)