WHAT IS WHITE RIBBON?
It is an international organisation aiming to end male violence against women once and for all. The UK campaign was founded in 2005.
The aim is to ultimately work with men and boys to challenge male cultures which lead to harassment, abuse and violence.
Men become volunteer ambassadors and women become champions and they aim to promote a culture of equality and respect and call out poor behaviour.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN THE UK
Two women a week are killed by a current or former partner (crime survey for England and Wales 2017).
Six out of seven victims of DV are women (crown prosecution service 2017).
Nine out ten defendants are men.
13.2% of men and 28.9% of women and aged 16 to 59 had experienced some form of domestic abuse since the age of 16 – according to Man Kind figures march 2019.
For every three victims of domestic abuse, two will be female, one will be male
In 17/18, 8.9% of men (equivalent to 1.4 million men) and 21.8% of women (3.6 million women) said they had experienced partner abuse (non-sexual) since the age of 16.
There’s more to DV then physical violence. Abuse comes in many forms such as emotional which can be anything from coercive control and degrading language and bullying. But there’s also sexual abuse and economical abuse. It’s also important to remember the impact of abuse on children – they could go on to be abusers themselves or turn to drugs for comfort.
You may be thinking this national campaign has nothing to do with your area, but you couldn’t be more wrong. No-one knows what goes on behind closed doors. I can 100 per cent guarantee right now that so many people in this town alone will be in an abusive relationship and may not even know it. Both men and women that is.
Take me for example. I was in an abusive relationship and had no idea what was going on until I started this job and was introduced to the campaign. I was told what to wear, what to do and who to be friends with. I was even told not to go to a certain town. No-one would have known what I was going through and even though that relationship has ended, I still feel the effects of that today and am still struggling with my own mental health from that.
The people of your area need your help and if they see the council taking action, more people are likely to come forward. We need to raise awareness and tell people that abuse in any form will not be tolerated.
The campaign will better prepare the clerk and councillors and everyone else in ways of identifying abuse and reporting it if appropriate.
Becoming fully accredited will also form an integral part of the campaign. It allows access to training materials and branding and you receive organisational support.
It promotes a positive message within the community that you don’t tolerate abuse and you encourage people to report it.
The council will be leading by example and promote an environment of tolerance and respect. A better awareness of DA by councillors also promotes a safer community for everyone.
People often won’t pick up the phone, either through embarrassment or lack of knowledge so accreditation just means that you can actively be seen in your community as supporting the campaign. As much signposting as you can get, through White Ribbon or the MARAC of the Freedom Programme ensures you guys are doing your bit to help those in need.
Funds awarded last year for accommodation for those in need.
There’s also the tying of the ribbons around the tree in places like Connah’s Quay (North Wales) and White Ribbon Day which is November 25 – this marks 16 days of action. The public will physically be able to see what you are doing during the those days specifically.
Domestic abuse bill introduced this year which will place a legal duty on councils to offer secure homes for those fleeing violence and their children, and proposes creating a dedicated domestic abuse commissioner. It is also be the first government to define DA to include financial, coercive control and manipulating behaviour.
In Wales – Carl Sargeant introduced the violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence bill 2015 – but why stop there?
HOW TO DO IT
You have to contact white ribbon and complete an action plan and then they get back to you with a price based on the size of your organisation.