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White Ribbon Group invites everyone to help eradicate violence

Congleton Town Council’s White Ribbon Group is planning almost three weeks of activities to spread the word about the White Ribbon campaign this November and December. Activities start with the National White Ribbon Awareness Day on Thursday 25 November, which is the beginning of the UN’s international ‘sixteen days of action’ to end violence against women and girls.

The White Ribbon Campaign engages men specifically to challenge the attitudes and behaviours that lead to male violence against women.

Congleton Town Council is a White Ribbon Accredited organisation which means it aims to eradicate male violence against women in Congleton and all gender-based violence.  The White Ribbon Group is asking people to take the pledge to promise never to commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.

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 Saturday 27 November.

The White Ribbon Group consists of Town Councillors, Council officers, and volunteers from the community who are White Ribbon Ambassadors. They recently attended a workshop to hone their skills and plan activities for this year’s campaign.

The Ambassadors brainstormed benefits of the White Ribbon Campaign, barriers to participation, and the best ways encourage the public, and especially other men, to take part in calling-out sexism and negative attitudes to women that can lead to violence.

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 hope that many more men will sign up to become Ambassadors this year.”

Chair of the Community & Environment Committee, and White Ribbon Champion 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.”

Individuals can make their promise at the White Ribbon Stall on Saturday 27 November, or at any time online at www.whiteribbon.org.uk. If any organisations, clubs or employers are interested gaining their own accreditation as White Ribbon organisations, please contact the team via info@congleton-tc.gov.uk and a member of the White Ribbon Group will be pleased to talk to you about the process.

For help and support contact:

  • Cheshire East Domestic Abuse Hub help line call: 0300 123 5101 or text: 07771 941464
  • Cheshire Rape Helpline: 0330 363 0063.