Every year I support White Ribbon Day. I purchase white ribbons as a Principal for my staff and now as Chief Commissioner I am imploring all members, families and supporters of Scouts Victoria to join me in taking a stand against violence against women and children.
It takes decent, good men to take a stand and to openly state that violence against women and children is abhorrent and unacceptable. There are many of us around and as decent men we must support those who are mothers, sisters, wives, daughters. White Ribbon Day is a day of participation in November so why then do I write about it in February?
We are approaching Valentine’s Day which over the last few years has become more and more commercialised. On February 14 though, there is another reason to stop, think and care.
“One billion rising for justice” is a campaign supported by White Ribbon to try to raise awareness and stop violence against women across the globe. One in three women on this planet will experience violence in their lifetime just for being a woman. That is 1 billion women. That is unacceptable!
Scouting is an educational movement underpinned by values and a Promise. If we are to live up to these then we must take a stand and say that such violence is never acceptable. Education is the key. Good men must take a stand and ensure that the youth we educate understand that violence, bullying and aggression do not have any place in our world, a world where Scouts work as messengers of peace.
While such messages must be treated with sensitivity and are more appropriate for our older sections, as adults we can take a stand and be a united voice. How could such messages be worked into your Venturer or Rover program? At a Group Committee or Group Council, District or Region meeting? What part can you play? On 14 February I plan to do my part and Rise for Justice. Enough is enough!