Written by: John DeRousie, Custom Marketing Solutions
OSWEGO, NY – Domestic and sexual violence are two of the most pervasive crimes affecting our country.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 4 women will experience abuse in their lifetime and nearly 1 in 5 women have been raped at some point in their life.
In an effort to raise awareness and promote the efforts of men ending violence against women, Services to Aid Families, a program of Oswego County Opportunities, is launching its White Ribbon Campaign.
Originating in 1991, The White Ribbon Campaign was a response to the 1989 École Polytechnique Massacre in Montreal.
During the massacre, 14 women were murdered and an additional 13 were injured in an effort to fight feminism.
Following this event, a group of Canadian men decided they had a responsibility to urge men to speak out about violence against women in all its forms.
A white ribbon has become a symbol of a man’s pledge to never commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women.
As Oswego County’s licensed domestic violence and rape crisis program, SAF is committed to raising awareness about the devastation that violence against women brings to our community.
Our goals for the White Ribbon Campaign are to emphasize the critical role men play in ending violence against women, encourage men to become advocates of non-violence, and to address the social norms that perpetuate this violence.
Violence committed by a minority of men against women has long been socially acceptable and is seen as a method to control another person.
By remaining silent about this issue, we allow other men to continue perpetrating and justifying their violence in our community.
More and more men and boys want to make a difference. Caring men are tired of the sexism that hurts the women around them.
Caring men are also concerned with the impact of this violence on the lives of men and boys.
Are you a caring man strong enough to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls?
Would you like your sons, daughters, and grandchildren to live free of fear and violence?
Beginning in July, SAF is holding informational meetings on the White Ribbon Campaign throughout Oswego County with the intention of reaching each of the 22 cities and townships.
These sessions are an opportunity to meet other men in your community, to learn the role you can play in ending violence in Oswego County, and provide practical steps and actions that you can take to end violence against women and free the younger generations of men and boys from stereotypes and expectations that promote violence against women as the definition of manhood.
Those interested in attending one of these sessions and showing Oswego County that men do have an important role in ending violence against women should contact Meredith Needham at (315) 342-1544.
Meetings regarding the White Ribbon Campaign will be held at the following locations and times:
Fulton – Municipal Building Community Room July 17 from 6 – 7 p.m.
Phoenix – Schroeppel Town Hall on Route 57A on July 18 from 6 –7 p.m.
Sandy Creek – Town Hall July 24 from 6 -7 p.m.
Parish – Town Building Gymnasium July 31 from 6 – 7 p.m.
Mexico – Library Brown Room August 1 from 6 – 7 p.m.
Hannibal – Town Hall August 7 from 6 – 7 p.m.
Oswego – Midtown Plaza August 14 from 6 – 7 p.m.
Central Square – The First Universalist Church of Central Square August 21 from 6 – 7 p.m.
If you or someone you know is a survivor of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence or stalking please call the Abuse & Assault Hotline at (315) 342-1600.
The hotline is staffed by trained counselors and is available 24 hours a day, with collect calls accepted within Oswego County.
OCO, Inc is a private, non-profit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966. A member agency of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, OCO provides more than 50 vital services throughout 80 separate locations. For more information, visit www.oco.org