The White Ribbon Campaign was founded in 1991 by a group of men committed to ending men’s violence against women through education, discussion, and action. The campaign was founded after fourteen female students were systematically targeted because of their gender and killed by a gunman at the University of Montreal. The initiative now has grown into the largest effort in the world addressing gender violence.
The international campaign was introduced to Massachusetts by Jane Doe, Inc., the Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence as the ‘Massachusetts White Ribbon Campaign’.
Independence House, in collaboration with the Yarmouth Police Department and the Cape & Islands District Attorney’s Office brought this international effort to Cape Cod with a White Ribbon Day event held annually, calling on men to stand up in solidarity, wear a white ribbon and take a pledge saying NO to violence against women and girls.
From this day forward, I promise to be part of the solution in ending violence against women...Massachusetts White Ribbon Day Pledge
Join men on Cape Cod who have taken the pledge.
White Ribbon Day offers a statewide framework for local programs to engage their community in the prevention of sexual and domestic violence. For the past six years, Independence House has co-sponsored a White Ribbon Day event with the District Attorney’s Office and the Yarmouth Police Department. Each year, between 80 and 100 men come together to take the pledge: “From this day forward, I promise to be part of the solution in ending violence against women.”
Independence House is organizing a Men’s Initiative, which is a monthly forum for male identified individuals to promote positive masculinity, safety and health in men’s lives and is grounded in our interest to keep the pledge alive from year to year. It also provides a safe place for dialogue about the issues, programs and practices that foster positive changes in men and boys, changes that counteract the social norms of showing no emotion, being in control at all times and being part of a culture that accepts sexual harassment and rape.
Independence House has taken the step to reach out specifically to men and boys in our community and ask the question, “what can be done to prevent intimate partner violence and sexual assault?” The creative thinking and commitment to this work benefits everyone in our community and beyond. By changing the dialogue around gender-based violence, Independence House is contributing to a global movement that aims at reevaluating gender roles, and finally ending the cycle of violence.
If you are interested in changing the dialogue and being part of the solution in ending violence against women, please join the Men’s Initiative. Please send your contact information to Chris Morin at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will receive an email as to the date and time of our planned meeting.