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Following the Grace Millane trial, what can we do?

Following the Grace Millane trial, what can we do?

White Ribbon acknowledges the unimaginable hurt and pain the Millane family has suffered, and will continue to endure following the guilty verdict handed down today.

“While one person that has caused so much harm is behind bars, this trial must do something to prevent violence towards women,” says Rob McCann, White Ribbon Manager.

“As a father, I am grateful the jury were able to understand the issue of consent. In my experience there are far too many people that do not understand the concept and the need for consent to be ongoing and active.”

“White Ribbon explains the concept using what is called the ‘cup of tea video’. In the video the act of sex is replaced with having a cup of tea. The video explains you can’t force a person to drink tea, people can change their mind about drinking tea, and if they fall unconscious they can’t be forced to drink the tea.”

“This is a really simple and effective way of teaching consent,” says Mr McCann.

“We also need to acknowledge that a perpetrator’s attitudes and behaviour will be known to their mates. Poor behaviour does not come from a vacuum and it is incumbent on all of us to call out bad behaviour when we see it. It might start off as disrespectful jokes about women while you are in a bar. That might not initially seem harmful, but the reality is that by saying nothing, you are actually sending the signal that the disrespectful behaviour is ok and all too often that behaviour escalates.”

“We are asking the public to intervene and disrupt other men’s violence. This is commonly called bystander intervention.”

White Ribbon produced a video about how to help by disrupting other men’s violence. You can watch the video here.

The third thing White Ribbon is suggesting is that we talk about pornography with our young men and women.

“Pornography is becoming more violent and more readily accessible,” says Mr McCann. “We believe it is changing the attitudes and behaviour of our young men and women. If our young men mimic pornography, then they treat women as conquests rather than human beings. This behaviour might be seen by some as manly, but ultimately, it’s unhealthy and bad for both men and women.”

White Ribbon recommends you be clear with your children – tell them that porn isn’t real. That it doesn’t show any real relationships, and the sex is often degrading, violent or disrespectful to women. We recommend that you talk about what respectful sexual behaviour looks like – and how you won’t see it in most porn. White Ribbon has produced a video about talking with young men about respectful relationships and porn.

“Following the verdict we must take action to prevent violence. That means taking real steps such as talking about consent, disrupting other men’s violence or talking about respectful sexual relationships and pornography. Doing nothing is one option that is not open to the country with the highest rate of reported violence towards women.”

Cup of tea video https://whiteribbon.org.nz/2015/07/12/consent-explained-with-a-cup-of-tea/
provided by Rockstar Dinosaur Pirate Princess who wrote the script.

Actions we can take to reduce violence – Eight videos
https://vimeo.com/showcase/5537622

Talk with young men about respectful relationships and porn - video
https://vimeo.com/299375746

From the White Ribbon Toolbox – Raising Boys who respect
https://whiteribbon.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Toolbox-Raising-Boys-Who-Respect-White-Ribbon.pdf


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