April 12, 2006

White ribbons

The white ribbon campaign began shortly after a horrific incident in 1989 when a man murdered 14 women at the University of Montreal. A group of concerned men began encouraging other men and boys to pin on white ribbons to acknowledge the role men need to play to help stop violence against women. The Women's Shelter in Snowstorm City holds a white ribbon campaign each spring. Our church usually hands out white ribbons, and I've always made sure my boys, no matter how young they were, understood what the white ribbons meant.

"You promise never to abuse a woman?"
"Mom! Of course."
"But more importantly, you know that you are also agreeing that you won’t remain silent if you know abuse is happening? That it's your responsibility to do something about it?"
"Yes, I know."

Even when he was a tiny kid, Boy in Black always took these pledges very seriously. He would look at me with the big serious eyes of a skinny ten-year-old, agreeing to stop abuse any time he could. I always believed him. I still do. Now almost eighteen, Boy in Black is a full-grown man, taller and stronger and smarter than most people, and his pledge to help end violence against women seems that much more important.

9 comments:

peripateticpolarbear said...

What a cool thing for a church to do. I'd never heard of this campaign.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

I didn't realise there was a campaign going on in the summer. Here in Canada, there are usually vigils in December. (Always right before my birthday.)

I love that your church is involved in that. And I love the Boy in Black. He's becoming a good man. You're a good mama.

jo(e) said...

PPB: If you google "white ribbon campaign," you can find all kinds of links.

Queen: The Women's Shelter in Snowstorm City does it in the spring. I think it might be coordinated so that churches can hand out white ribbons on Palm Sunday weekend although I am not positive about that. It could just be coincidence.

Scrivener said...

OK, after reading this post I know which poem to post tomorrow.

listmaker said...

I've never heard of the campaign, but it's a great idea. We need to impress upon our children from the earliest ages to speak out, act against and refuse to tolerate abuse of themselves or others.

Teri said...

There is a similar campaign in that big city with more than one tall building and two baseball teams....bule ribbons, though, and for child abuse. My church ties a blue ribbon on the trees outside for every reported case of child abuse in the county during the previous year. Usually it coincides with Lent. Most years there are between 12 and 20 thousand ribbons on the trees, and countless ribbons on people.

Friday Mom said...

This is a great idea. Thrilled to see that your boys understand how important it is.

halloweenlover said...

Beautiful. We definitely need good men out there. Thank you for raising three wonderful young men.

Leslee said...

Jo(e), it sounds like you don't have any reason to worry about your kids. I'm more and more impressed with them every day!