What is a pronoun?
A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun. It can be used as a way of referring to someone. Here are some examples of pronouns:
He, his, she, her, they, them etc.
Why is it go important that we talk about pronouns?
Pronouns are gendered words, and can reflect someone’s gender identity. Referring to someone by their correct pronouns is one of the most basic ways to show respect, and show that you see someone for who they are.
By asking people for their pronouns and openly discussing your own pronouns, you can break down barriers, remove potentially offensive situations and reflect inclusivity.
International Pronouns Day
International Pronouns Day is the perfect opportunity to look at your current processes and see how you can be more inclusive. It can be as simple as adding an optional pronoun box to your referral form or adding them to the bottom of your email signature.
For some, pronouns may not seem like a big deal but for others, assuming gender and identity can be offensive and a deterrent to seeking support. Getting a person’s pronouns right from the beginning, (whether they are a service user or a colleague), means they won’t be uncomfortable because of how you address them, and won’t have to correct you later on.
Supporting International Pronouns Day on social media
Working alongside the LGBT+ anti-abuse charity Galop, we’ve created some images and draft social media messages that you can use on your channels.
Today is #InternationalPronounsDay! @NWSVweek has come up with 7 important things to learn today…
Everyone uses pronouns, just like everyone has an identity. It is important to respect each other’s pronouns and where appropriate if you are unsure, ask them. #InternationalPronounsDay @NWSVweek
Sharing your pronouns is a way of letting people get to know us better. #InternationalPronounsDay @NWSVweek
If you feel comfortable, introduce yourself with your preferred pronoun. #InternationalPronounsDay @NWSVweek
Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. You should never assume someone’s gender or pronoun. Doing so can be very offensive. If you are unsure, you should always ask. #InternationalPronounsDay @NWSVweek
If you are unsure of someone’s pronoun, use the word ‘they’. This can make it more comfortable for the person involved. #InternationalPronounsDay @NWSVweek
If you are a service provider or professional, have a think about how you could make your processes more inclusive. Could you add a box for preferred pronouns on your referral forms? #InternationalPronounsDay @NWSVweek
By considering all these points, you are making the first step in being more inclusive. #InternationalPronounsDay @NWSVweek
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This website was developed in collaboration with North West Police Crime Commissioners, NHS England, and Sexual Assault & Abuse Services.
The North West SAAS Partner Network (Strategic Direction for Sexual Assault and Abuse Services) is led by NHS England and covers Cheshire, Merseyside, Cumbria, Greater Manchester and Lancashire.