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Congleton’s White Ribbon team talk about Violence

Congleton’s White Ribbon team talk about Violence at the Makers Market

Congleton Town Council’s work on reducing male violence and making more people aware of the need to never commit, excuse or ignore abuse and violence took another step forward with a successful stall at the Makers Market on Saturday (26th September).

At the stall members of the Working Group were proud to share news that Congleton Town Council had just been awarded White Ribbon Accreditation, making it one of around 100 organisations in the UK to be recognised for its work on reducing violence.

During the day, members of the working group spoke to more than 100 members of the public about the campaign, as well as receiving visits from Chris Green OBE, Executive Director of White Ribbon UK, Superintendent Peter Crowcroft of Cheshire Police, Saskia Lightburn-Ritchie, Chief Executive of Cheshire Without Abuse and Congleton Town Mayor, Cllr Sally Ann Holland.

Chris Green OBE said: “Men must talk to their relatives and their friends about challenging male abuse towards women – Silence is not an option – Silence means support for abuse, trafficking, and rape. Every woman you ask will know someone to whom this has happened, yet many men do not know women to whom this has happened. This is because we have not listened.  Until we create a country where women can go to a nightclub without being assaulted, touched and groped, until we create a country where it is not the case that two women a week are murdered by their partner or husband, and until we create a country where we stop 500,000 women a year being sexually assaulted, we must do more to have relationships and communities based on Love Respect and Equality.”

Chair of the White Ribbon Working Group, Cllr Robert Hemsley said: “It was a really useful day and I would like to thank members of the Congleton public that took the time to talk to us, as well as fellow members of the group, Cllr Kay Wesley, Cllr Robert Douglas, Chief Officer David McGifford, founder member Richard Walton and Mike Wesley for sharing time on the stall. It was heartening to have such positive support from local people. We now have more than 200 people in Congleton who have signed the pledge. I would also like to thank Berisford Ribbons of Congleton who kindly donated reels of white ribbon to help us decorate the town.”

Cllr Kay Wesley, the only women on the working group and Chair of the Community and Environment Group added: “We spoke to over a hundred people on the stall and many of them knew someone who had experienced violence and abuse. I was particularly moved by a couple who worked in children’s services and a probation officer, who told me that the situation has got worse during the COVID lockdown, with devastating consequences for some families. This work is more important than ever. On the positive side, we also talked to a teacher, a teaching assistant and a businessman, who all wanted to get their places of work White Ribbon Accredited and asked us to follow up with them, which we will certainly do! Everyone we met shared our determination to eradicate violence and abuse in Congleton.”

The White Ribbon working group will now plan their next steps of the campaign. The White Ribbon accreditation needs to be reapplied for in 2023. The team will have another stall at the Makers Market at the end of November as part of White Ribbon Awareness Day.

Individuals can make their promise at any time online at www.whiteribbon.org.uk and if any organisations, clubs or employers want to get in touch about gaining their own accreditation please contact the White Ribbon team via info@congleton-tc.gov.uk