Saints show support for White Ribbon Day

Southampton FC Women's head coach Marieanne Spacey
Southampton FC Women’s head coach Marieanne Spacey-Cale wearing a white ribbon.

Southampton FC is backing the campaign to end violence against women and girls, supporting White Ribbon Day which is on 25 November.

#TheGoal for White Ribbon Day is to bring men and boys together to think about how they can make a positive difference to achieve equality and safety for women and girls. Southampton FC fully supports #TheGoal and White Ribbon’s promise – to never commit, excuse, or remain silent about male violence against women – with its staff wearing white ribbons across the training ground and stadium.

As part of that support, the club has provided educational sessions to its U-18’s Academy players to help tackle and prevent future violence against women and girls.

The educational workshop was delivered by Beyond Equality, a charity that works with men and boys towards gender equality, inclusive communities and healthier relationships. As part of the workshop, the topics covered included masculinity and being a man, pressure and emotional literacy, gender expression and masculine stereotypes, banter and sex and relationships.

Ian Herding, Performance Education and Life Care Officer for Southampton Football Club said: “We were pleased to welcome Beyond Equality to deliver this important workshop to our Academy Scholars. The workshop was engaging, and interactive and prompted the players to have conversations that they wouldn’t normally engage in.

“They were challenged to discuss their own emotions and the challenges they face not only as a footballer but as young men. They were also asked to discuss challenges around respect to the female population and they gained through these discussions a better understanding of respect in the workplace and in a social environment.”

Players wearing white ribbons.
Players wearing white ribbons at training.

Southampton FC Women’s next home match falls just two days after White Ribbon Day, on Sunday 27 November. The club will be using this match as a chance to raise awareness and show its support for White Ribbon Day. A wide range of organisations including PIPPA, Yellow Door, Stop Domestic Abuse, Hampton Trust, and Southampton City Council will be at the game, offering important information on support services in Southampton for victims of VAWG as well as services on offer to support men.

Every three days, a woman is killed by a man in the UK (Femicide Census 2020). Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is preventable and is estimated to affect one-third of all women in their lifetime (Department for International Development, 2014). Southampton has the 13th-highest rate in England for sexual offences. For every 1000 women and girls in Southampton, there are 57 VAWG crimes and for every 1000 women and girls in Southampton, there are 24 domestic VAWG crimes.

Saints Foundation continues to deliver educational workshops in local primary schools to tackle and prevent future violence against women and girls. Staff have been working with pupils at a young age to show them the importance of respect, help them understand gender stereotypes and encourage positive relationships. The sessions will be expanded into further Southampton schools in 2023.

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