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White Ribbon schools kit gives boys a bad rap

Media release from the One in Three Campaign.

The anti-violence One in Three Campaign today called on the White Ribbon Campaign to broaden its message when educating young people about violence and abuse. Spokesperson Greg Andresen said “While the antiviolence message of the White Ribbon Campaign is extremely important, we are disappointed that by focusing only on male violence towards women and girls, it appears to be misleading children and young people about the true picture of violence in Australia.”

The White Ribbon Campaign has a schools’ kit available for download from its website, and encourages teachers, students and parents to get involved in White Ribbon Day activities. Mr Andresen said “we are extremely concerned that children in our schools are being fed the messages that ‘violence is something that men do to women’ and ‘only violence against women and girls is wrong’. Violence is extremely complex, and as far as young people are concerned, everyone is affected. The one thing we do know for certain is that while there is an almost universal social taboo against boys hitting girls, there are no messages telling girls that slapping, shoving, kicking or hitting boys is wrong. Young boys should not grow up feeling universal male guilt because of some men’s violence to women. Young girls shouldn’t grow up thinking it’s OK to hit boys."

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