Congleton Town Council’s White Ribbon Group attended a workshop to hone their skills and plan activities for White Ribbon Day on 25 November and the following ‘sixteen days of action’ to end male violence against women. The White Ribbon movement engages men specifically to challenge the attitudes and behaviours that lead to male violence against women.
The group of Ambassadors, which consists of councillors, officers and volunteers from the public, brainstormed benefits of the White Ribbon Campaign, barriers to participation, and the best ways encourage the public, and especially other men, to take part.
White Ribbon Chair Cllr Robert Hemsley explained “Talking to men about male violence can be quite a challenge. Most people are not very comfortable approaching people in the street anyway, and this is a difficult topic to broach, especially with men, who can often feel defensive and tempted to say ‘well I’m not violent’. But the theme of this year’s White Ribbon Campaign is ‘all men can’ – meaning that non-violent men have a key role to play in the fight against sexism and male aggression, and we had a productive afternoon sharing ideas to get more of them involved.”
Chair of the Community & Environment Committee, Cllr Kay Wesley, added “Male violence against women has been in the public consciousness during 2021 since the murder of Sarah Everard, but what people in Congleton might not realise is that it is a significant problem in our own town, too.
“We have an incident of domestic violence reported in Congleton on average every day, of sexual violence once a week. This is a problem for the whole community to address. And more than ninety percent of all violence has a male perpetrator, even if the victim is male. To have men speak out against this violence and help to redefine male leadership is vitally important in the fight against these crimes. Our White Ribbon Ambassadors are doing a fantastic job and I’m proud to work with them.”
White Ribbons will be tied on the town centre lampposts and the White Ribbon flag will fly from the town hall from 25 November. Members of the public can chat to the team at the White Ribbon stall at the Maker’s Market on 27 November.
Individuals can make their promise at any time online at www.whiteribbon.org.uk. If any organisations, clubs or employers are interested gaining their own accreditation please contact the White Ribbon team via firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of the team will be pleased to talk to you about the process.