United in support to end violence against women and girls

Councillors, senior managers and staff from Buckinghamshire Council have pledged their support to the campaign to end violence against women and girls, this White Ribbon Day (Friday 25 November).

White Ribbon Day, also known globally as International Day for the Eradication of Violence against Women, takes place annually and aims to raise awareness of the behaviours and attitudes from men and boys that encourage violence against women and girls, and to stop them. White Ribbon Day highlights the seven abuse strands: stalking, harassment, sexual violence, female genital mutilation, honour-based violence, forced marriage and domestic abuse.

As in previous years, Buckinghamshire Council is working in partnership with Thames Valley Police to deliver 16 days of action running from White Ribbon Day up to Human Rights Day on 10 December. This includes pop up stalls, training and the launch of the Domestic Abuse website.

Additionally, Buckinghamshire Council has organised a range of events and activities to show support and raise awareness. Today Cabinet Member for Communities, Steve Bowles was joined by Swan Envoy, April Benson, CEO of Women’s Aid Aylesbury, to raise the White Ribbon Day flag outside the council offices at The Gateway in Aylesbury. Flags will be raised at all council offices around the county.

Councillors and staff were invited to wear something white in colour or to wear a White Ribbon Day badge to show their support. Everyone is being invited to make the White Ribbon Day promise and to sign up for training to become a domestic abuse champion and other courses which aim to raise awareness, recognise harmful behaviours and know how to support those who are affected.

Steve Bowles, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities said: “This year White Ribbon Day falls during the FIFA Men’s World Cup. We know from national statistics that the tensions and heightened emotions during tournaments like this can often lead to greater incidence of domestic abuse which of course we know, can occur against both women and men. One of the key messages this White Ribbon Day is to ask men and boys specifically to show their support for #TheGoal to end violence against women and girls.”

Steve continued: “In addition to raising awareness of these crimes and behaviours and the need for them to stop, we want to make sure everyone knows how to spot the signs and how to get support if needed. No one should suffer in silence, there is a lot of support available for anyone affected by any of these issues.

For more information, visit the council's website.

At the White Ribbon Day flag raising ceremony at The Gateway in Aylesbury: (L-R), Ruth Hemsley, Cllr Steve Bowles, Swan Envoy April Benson, and Faye Blunstone.