White Ribbon Day Marked by AU Community

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White ribbon day posters in Hugh Owen, taken by Dewis Choice

On 25th November, Dewi’s Choice launched their project for White Ribbon Day 2023. They released a poster in both English and Welsh which acknowledges the day’s devotion to breaking the silence surrounding domestic abuse. It intends to bring the community together to end men’s violence against women and girls. I had the privilege to talk to Dewis Choice and learn about the amazing work they have done to promote women's safety. 

Dewis Choice have been running a project for older victim-survivors of domestic abuse for eight years. They have taken an active part in White Ribbon Day each year. This year, they have “garnered support from Aberystwyth University students and staff to co-create a poster illustrating a collective commitment towards ending violence towards women and girls.” People across the university have come together to create a vibrant collage of images that spell out ‘White Ribbon Day’ in various artistic ways.  

The range of people involved in the project is reflected in the distinct personalities that make up each letter. From alpacas to film strips, there is a real diversity in voices which have contributed to the promotion of the White Ribbon Day message. Because of this, there is a strong depiction of community within the poster, as individual groups and societies unite to speak out against men’s violence towards women.  

The poster incorporates a QR code and link, which leads to Aberystwyth University’s ‘Harassment and Misconduct – Prevention and Support’ webpage. The page contains detailed information on support options, reporting options, and avenues for further advice. The University’s pledge of commitment to ‘promoting a safe and supportive campus environment’ rings true here, where their attention to both the physical and mental safety of survivors is extremely clear. I would urge everyone to visit this article, not only to educate themselves on sexual misconduct and consent, but also how victim-survivors and their friends can be supported by the university.  

This poster speaks directly to the student body as well as the wider AU community. Dewis Choice has said their aim is to “emphasise that combating violence against women and girls is everyone’s responsibility.” As you walk through hallways decorated with their poster, or scroll past a digital version on your phone, Dewis Choice and all their contributors urge you to acknowledge the often-silent issue of men’s violence against women. They have “amplified the importance of unity and solidarity” in the face of issues where survivors often feel alone. The poster reflects the community behind survivors of these issues and emphasises the role of support on both a collective and individual level.  

Dewis Choice hopes that the AU community are “as proud of [the poster] as [they] are” and they hope we “display it in offices, dormitories and social areas, so it can be a signpost for anyone who has experienced abuse in a relationship, sexual violence or sexual harassment.” Displaying these posters and the information they contain supports AU’s aim to ensure everyone knows where to get the information and support they need. The work of Dewis Choice is incredibly inspirational, breaking the silence for victim-survivors of all ages.  

So, whether you are rushing to class or hanging out in your department foyer, take a moment to examine the poster created in collaboration with your staff and fellow peers. Really look at it, what it means, and see how overwhelming support for survivors is reflected in every image. Personally, I am very proud to study at a university where students and staff can band together in the promotion of women's justice.  

Physical copies of the poster are available in the Hugh Owen Library’s local interest newsstand, as well as the hallways and certain foyers of the Hugh Owen Building. Please, take one, show it wherever you want, share it on social media, and know how significant displaying this message is.  

If you would like to stay up to date with the inspirational work of Dewis Choice, join their mailing list by contacting lit30@aber.ac.uk. Additionally, you can download the poster, and see all the hard work for yourself, by clicking this link: https://dewischoice.org.uk/information-and-advice/resources/