Announcing: Empath Action CIC and Wakefield Council White Ribbon Day Event

In conjunction with Wakefield Council and their 16 Days of Action events, Empath Action CIC is honoured to be presenting a series of four short theatre performances in the centre of Wakefield this November. 

The performances will be based on the theme of men taking responsibility and helping to tackle and end male perpetrated abuse against women and girls. This is a core focus of the White Ribbon Campaign, which is on the first day of the 16 Days of Action and looks at how men can become allies and supporters to women who have been affected by violence, as well as understanding how men are critical in helping to break the cycle of gender based abuse.

These performances come off the back of 97%, the ground-breaking play from Hit Like a Girl Theatre and Empath Action CIC – supported by the Mayor’s Safer Communities Fund, which raised the subject of assault against women. Focusing on the story of Charlotte, a student who is assaulted on a night out, 97% received great acclaim and interest locally but raised the questions “What about the boys? Why are we not focusing on those who could have the power to make a difference?” 

Therefore, the opportunity to work with Wakefield Council to look into this aspect through four short plays felt vital to Empath Action.

Empath Action Co-Director Jo Broadhead said, “It is really important that the role of men and boys is explored in regard to violence and abuse against women and girls. We feel it’s vital that these plays open up a discussion. This is never about lecturing men, but encouraging them to be involved in the conversation.”

She added, “It also feels entirely relevant that these performances are taking place during the FIFA Men’s World Cup as we know incidences of domestic abuse against women increase during major tournaments.” 

The 16 Days of Action Campaign stems from the original movement, 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. The movement began at the Women’s Global Leadership Institute. It runs from 25th November. 

The Empath Action Boys Won’t Be Boys day runs between 10:30AM and 4PM on November 28th at their Imaginarium Space on the bottom floor of the Ridings Shopping Centre Wakefield (across from the British Heart Foundation). The Boys Won’t Be Boys performances will run at 11AM and 2PM, where the four specially created short plays will be performed by some of Wakefield’s leading young actors, Danny Barraclough, Reece Gee, Finley Brown and Katie Greensmith.

Throughout the day, there will also be support materials available from prevention and care organisations, and opportunities to connect with others in a safe and welcoming space.

Steven Busfield, Co-Director at Empath, says, “This is a chance for men who want to end abuse against women in all its forms to come together and make a stand. We truly believe that this problem isn’t the result of all men being violent misogynists, but that it is the responsibility of every man in our community to do what we can to interrupt and combat damaging behaviour among our male peers. We invite every man who feels the same to join us on the 28th of November and find out more on how they can be the allies the women in their lives need and deserve.” 

Empath Action CIC’s 16 Days of Action work is supported by The Ridings Shopping Centre as part of its commitment to the safety of women and girls, and the wider Wakefield community. The unit in which the performances will take place is graciously facilitated by the Art House’s Makey Wakey scheme.

Tickets are available free of charge on Eventbrite here.

Please note: These performances are open to all adults. The performances are not gratuitous, but the plays deal with themes of implied domestic abuse and violence. 

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