White Ribbon Day event will encourage Hull residents to “never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women”

As part of White Ribbon day on 25 November, the White Ribbon fire engine and police car will be going into The Green Way Academy to raise awareness around domestic abuse.

Children and young people will have the opportunity to discuss and explore, with White Ribbon ambassadors and representatives, what domestic abuse and bullying means to them, whilst understanding the importance of respectful and healthy relationships.

The day will include a range of planned activities, and children and young people will have the opportunity to sign the White Ribbon pledge. The White Ribbon wrapped fire engine and police cars on site are designed to start conversations and signpost those who witness or suffer domestic violence to receive the support they deserve.

Councillor Akbar, Community Safety Portfolio Holder, said:

“The White Ribbon campaign is centred on changing behaviours, improving reporting and supporting victims of domestic abuse.

“By working together with key partners, residents and local communities to host events like this, we are raising awareness locally, encouraging conversations amongst communities and educating people about the issue.

“But we also understand that devastatingly this problem needs more than a singular day of awareness – we have numerous, on-going programmes across the city that support women and children who experiencing domestic abuse, whenever they need it.”

Agencies across the city will also be actively participating and speaking out, including youth services, schools, youth parliament and the voluntary sector, who are recruiting White Ribbon Youth Ambassadors to raise awareness amongst young people.

Anyone can experience domestic abuse. It happens in all kinds of relationships and for any reason, regardless of age, race, religion, sex, or lifestyle. On a national average, it is estimated that annually 1.6 million women experience domestic abuse.

In Hull, Humberside Police respond to up to 950 domestic abuse calls every month and, between April 2020 and March 2021, Hull City Council’s Hull DAP Domestic Abuse Partnership Support Service supported 2492 women and their children.

Matt Jukes, Chief Executive of Hull City Council said:

“This year, with a lot of national media coverage on some horrific cases of attacks against women and girls, it’s more important than ever that, as a city, we join together to raise awareness so that we can make Hull a safer place to live and work.”

“If you are aware of friends, families or neighbours suffering from domestic or other forms of violence and abuse, please reach out to them and offer reassurances that support is here for them to access. It’s essential that they know they are not alone and that we won’t leave them to suffer in silence.”

Five years since gaining status as a White Ribbon City, Hull City Council has worked with city-wide partner agencies on various campaigns. After the success of the ‘Hull Men Say No’ campaign, a ‘Hull Young People Say No’ campaign has also been developed which saw young people from across come together to show their support for White Ribbon. The young people, and the Hull Men Say No ambassadors, will be in attendance on the day.

The White Ribbon campaign was created by men for men, to encourage them to take more responsibility for reducing levels of abuse against women.  It focuses on the belief that change will only occur when men accept the part they play in order to make changes. The campaign recognises that men can also be victims of domestic abuse, however this campaign is particularly focused on male violence towards women.

Darren Downs, Assistant Chief Constable at Humberside Police said;

“Violence and abuse, in all its forms – whether in a domestic setting, at a party, a park, on our streets or in a school – will not be tolerated.  We need women and girls to feel safe and listened to in coming forward with reports of abuse and we need our criminal justice system to work effectively for all victims and survivors.

“We must start with addressing the perpetrators of the violence and abuse.  We live in a society and culture where misogyny and sexism have for too long been tolerated, where girls and women are over-sexualised in the media and victims are wrongly, often depicted as being somehow to blame for the crimes committed against them.

“This must change, we need to focus on the perpetrators of this violence – those committing domestic abuse, sexual offences and harming our children. This is now the time for us all to act on tackling this epidemic of violence against women.”

As part of the national day, the campaign encourages everyone to wear a White Ribbon pin and pledge to take action against violence and abuse against women – to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.

Maria Woods, Child Protection Co-ordinator at The Green Way Academy, said:

“The Green Way Academy is really proud to be part of the White Ribbon campaign because it means so much to our local community. The pupils enjoy all of the activities that take place on the day and the campaign message is one we hope they will always carry with them.

“Our pupils are taught that all acts of violence are unacceptable and will not be tolerated, and we are exceptionally proud of our pupils who are kind and respectful. The White Ribbon campaign is invaluable and helps to reinforce our message of “Be Kind” at all times. It highlights different forms of abuse which sadly some children may think is acceptable.

“By taking part in this campaign we have had pupils come forward and ask for help, which is why we fully support all of the work that is done through White Ribbon.”

The pledge can be signed online, Sign the White Ribbon Pledge and the free action pack or free poster can be downloaded at whiteribbon.org/day

Hull Domestic Abuse Partnership continues to offer vital services to women, men and LGBTQ+. For support call 01482 318 759 or visit www.hulldap.co.uk. Or, for anyone worried about their own behaviour contact ‘Strength to Change’ on 01482 613 403.

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