Men’s role in helping to end violence against women and children: 2008 Purple Ribbon Campaign Against Violence
CHARLOTTETOWN, November 25, 2008 — “Most Prince Edward Island men are not violent towards their intimate partners. Most men do not attack or sexually assault women. But men are responsible for most of the violence that PEI women suffer,” says Isabelle Christian, Chairperson for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women. “Some men are part of the problem, but all men are part of the solution.”
The PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women launched its 2008 Purple Ribbon Campaign Against Violence today in Charlottetown. The Campaign, now in its 17th year, encourages all Islanders to wear a purple ribbon on or around December 6 in recognition of the National Day of Action and Remembrance on Violence Against Women. The theme of this year’s Island campaign is “Men, take a stand with us.”
“Men have a big role to play in helping to end the violence women and children experience. Listening to what women have to say about how violence has impacted their lives is a start. Learning about the problem, recognizing that sexist language and jokes degrade women, and respecting and financially supporting the work of organizations that empower women, are just a few ways men can help,” says Purple Ribbon Campaign Coordinator Sandy Kowalik.
This year’s Campaign also looks at why some men develop abusive personalities and what characteristics abusive men have in common. “Abusers come from all social, educational, and cultural backgrounds,” says Isabelle Christian. “For the most part, they develop abusive personalities in response to their circumstances. Some of the biggest childhood contributors for a man to become an abuser are growing up with a physically or emotionally absent father. And a father’s physical or verbal abuse has a huge impact. Boys need nurturing male role models in their lives in order to become peaceful, non-abusive men.”
As part of the 2008 Campaign, a series of posters is also being created, featuring individual men from across the Island with the pledge “I stand with you to end violence against women and children.” Photos to add to the series are welcome until December 1.
Volunteers from across the Island pinned purple ribbons to 25,000 bilingual information cards for distribution to schools, churches, government employees, and the general public. Purple ribbons are available from the PEI Status of Women office at 368-4510.