Today (25 November) is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Wales’ largest trade union, UNISON Cymru Wales, wants to use its reach in public service workplaces up and down the country to raise awareness of the White Ribbon Campaign.
Jane Gebbie, chair of UNISON Cymru Wales Women’s Committee said,
“UNISON is a predominantly female union and we are determined to campaign for the elimination of violence against women. With 100,000 members in Wales and positive relationships with a wide range of employers, we want to spread the message that any violence is completely unacceptable. On White Ribbon Day, we want men to sign up to a pledge that they will not condone or conduct an act of violence against a woman.”
Working with UNISON Cymru Wales’ assistant convenor and North Wales Health branch secretary, Jan Tomlinson, UNISON Cymru Wales Women’s Committee has endorsed the following statement:
On International Day for the Elimination of violence against women, we encourage men to sign up to pledges that they will not condone or conduct an act of violence against a woman, and include honour based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and coercive control in that statement. Sadly the numbers of abuse cases increase day in day out, and historically evidence has shown us that in times of austerity we have a more significant rise. We see all too often the abhorrent abuse cases that get in the media and to court, and all too often it’s after the fact, when the devastation has already occurred to remaining family, friends and colleagues.
Women and young girls who are strong enough to speak up and out deserve to be recognised for their strength and deserve to be helped without fear of retaliation or retribution and services need to be available to assist those escaping. But, let’s not forget the large number of women and young girls who don’t have this strength and struggle in silence, too afraid to seek help or speak out. We need to ensure that workplaces have policies to support victims of violence.
Cyber bullying is an increasing problem in today’s electronic world. Social media exclusion and bullying affect not only women and young girls in relationships, but sadly on their workplaces too. Keyboard warriors devastate lives, reputations and can have an adverse effect on the recipients of this disgusting behaviour, all carried out by weak, faceless people who don’t consider the adverse effects it has on the recipients, both mentally and physically, including being ridiculed in their communities or their workplaces, and at times, being excluded due to the untruths and cruel postings about them. Some recipients are not on social media, but day in day out are forced to hear what is being written and at times being shown printed copies of what is posted by keyboard warriors about them, either directly referring to them or in some cases being bullied by indirect postings about them.
Across Wales, UNISON women will be remembering those lost, those who survived and encouraging all men to sign a pledge that they will not condone or conduct an act of violence against a women. We need to stand up, speak out and work together.
Jane Gebbie, chair of UNISON Cymru Wales Women’s Committee
Jan Tomlinson, assistant convenor, UNISON Cymru Wales
Notes for editors
- Further information is available at: www.whiteribbon.org.uk
- Social media hashtags for the campaign:
Alastair Gittins, UNISON press officer 07816 53 83 97