- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Anti-violence campaigner Joyce Watson AM will be hosting a candlelit service at St Davids Cathedral on International White Ribbon Day, Monday, 25 November. The service will start at 12 noon and is open to all. Light refreshments will be served in the refectory from 11am.
Organisations including the WI, Pembrokeshire’s Youth Offending and Prevention Service, St David’s School, St David’s City Council, Mothers’ Union, Pembrokeshire College and Merched y Wawr have worked with Mrs Watson on the event.
The event is part of two weeks of Not in My Name campaign activity organised jointly by Mrs Watson and the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (NFWI) – Wales.
Not in My Name recruits male ambassadors to urge people to support a simple pledge: to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women. Men across Wales, from choirs to workplaces to sporting stars such as the Wales rugby squad, have signed up to this pledge.
Pembrokeshire-based Assembly Member Mrs Watson said:
“I am grateful to St Davids Cathedral for agreeing to hold this service for the first time. We hold similar services in Llandaff and Brecon cathedrals, so I’ve been keen that people are able to come together in Pembrokeshire, particularly in our historic city, to mark an issue which affects so many.
“By signing the Not in My Name pledge and wearing a white ribbon, people send out a powerful message – that abuse in its many forms is never acceptable, should never be ignored and must never be excused.”
in Pembrokeshire in the past 12 months charitable housing association Hafan Cymru has provided refuge for 36 women and 35 children, and supported a further 11 women and 21 children to move on from their refuge.
Ann Sherwood of Hafan Cymru said: “In total Hafan Cymru supported over 2,500 individuals to escape abusive relationships across Wales last year. We strive to prevent abuse and promote independence. We cannot do this on our own, We need men to speak out and pledge never to commit or condone or remain silent through the White ribbon campaign.”
Ann Jones, Chair of NFWI-Wales added:
“It is unacceptable that violence against women persists in today’s society and that one in four women in Wales will experience domestic violence at the hands of a partner their lives. It is vital that men speak out to help create a culture change where violence against women is not tolerated.”
This year’s campaign is focused on younger women and girls, and is working with schools and colleges to help create a culture where violent behaviour towards women and girls is unacceptable.
People can get involved by signing White Ribbon posters, organising or attending events, and by sending messages of support.
Other events include a student-led vigil at Aberystwyth University (15 November), a Light a Candle service at Brecon Cathedral (17 November) and a Candlelight Walk in Carmarthen town centre (28 November).
Further details are available from Joyce Watson on www.joycewatson.org.uk / 029 2089 8972, or the NFWI-Wales http://www.thewi.org.uk/wi-in-wales
Event: Light a Candle service 12 noon, Monday 25th November, St Davids Cathedral
Not in my Name details:
Ways in which people can support the campaign:
• Find out more at http://www.thewi.org.uk/wi-in-wales or www.joycewatson.org.uk for ideas to get involved
• Request a poster to sign pledges of support and send it back
• Send in messages of support, which may appear in the web campaign
• Display the poster to promote White Ribbon Day
• Organise an event with white ribbons (seewww.whiteribboncampaign.co.uk/).
• Organise a candle-lit vigil to raise awareness of the issues
White Ribbon Day takes place on 25 November, International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women. By wearing a white ribbon, men pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.
The WI is the largest voluntary women’s organisation in the UK with more than 210,000 members in around 6,660 WIs. In Wales there are 16,000 members belonging to about 500 WIs. It plays a unique role in enabling women to develop new skills, giving them opportunities to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities, and provides wide-ranging activities for members to get involved in. For further information please visitwww.theWI.org.uk