Day 12: Welsh Women’s Aid, A Day in the Life (Engagement & Capacity Officer, Sabine Ingeborg)

Welsh Women’s Aid: A Day in the Life Engagement and Capacity Officer Sabine Ingeborg

My role supports and builds the capacity of our member services, 27 local charities which provide frontline domestic abuse services for women children and families across Wales. I am in regular contact with them and hold monthly visits to provide specific support services and discuss what is working well and what can be improved. I also organise workshops and seminars on relevant topics, and hold regional meetings to improve communication and sharing of best practice across services.

The 16 Days of Action are particularly important to me as they help raise awareness of male violence against women and girls, in Wales and globally. One of commemorative events that I personally want to highlight is the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, which occurred in Canada, 1989, when a gunman burst into a classroom of 60 engineering students, ordered all the men to leave and proceeded to shoot the women on this course. Before he opened fire, the gunman shouted: “You’re all a bunch of feminists, and I hate feminists!” It later transpired that he had been upset about women working in positions traditionally occupied by men. That day, he shot 14 women and injured another 10 women.  The media reporting of this event played down the motive and presented the gunman as “mad” or having “psychological problems” or ” a victim himself”, rather than acknowledge the political context and the specifically planned attack by the gunman. The gunman’s suicide note said “Would you note that if I commit suicide today it is not for economic reason [ …] but for political reasons. Because I have decided to send the feminists, who have always ruined my life, to their Maker[ …]I have decided to put an end to those viragos.” A short film, called Reframing the Montreal Massacre, which looks at the media representation of the event.