Congleton Town Council’s White Ribbon Group has started 16 days of action to spread the word about the White Ribbon Campaign this November and December, starting with White Ribbon Day on Saturday 25th November.
The White Ribbon Campaign engages men specifically to challenge the attitudes and behaviours that lead to men’s violence against women, a crime which often increases around Christmas and New Year.
Congleton Town Council is a White Ribbon Accredited organisation with an objective of ending all gender-based violence and abuse in Congleton.
The White Ribbon Group consists of Town Councillors, Council officers, and volunteers from the community who are (male) White Ribbon Ambassadors.
The White Ribbon Ambassadors manned a stall at Friday’s Christmas Lights Switch on and at again at the Maker’s Market on Saturday 25th November, to ask people to make the promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about men’s violence against women or any gender-based violence.
Chair of the Town Council’s White Ribbon Group Cllr Richard Walton said: “Sadly we know from research that domestic and sexual violence increases over the Christmas holidays and what should be a happy family time can be devastating for some. It was good to get the word out on Friday and Saturday that this is not OK and we’ve got your back in Congleton. We hope to change the story permanently and end violence and abuse.”
Ambassador Jonathan Dakin added: “We had some great conversations throughout the day and lots of people came to make their White Ribbon promise. If anyone missed us on the day, they can make their promise on the White Ribbon website.”
The focus for the team during 2023 has been reaching into the wider community, working with high schools, businesses, Cheshire Police and the PubWatch organisation.
Chair of the Community Committee, and White Ribbon Champion Cllr Kay Wesley, commented: “We have had really good interactions with lots of people in Congleton this year and more organisations are seeking to become White Ribbon accredited. I’ve also been asked to help the National Association of Local Councils with its own Accreditation and I’m delighted that our Ambassador Mark Edwardson is speaking at their National Assembly meeting in London later this month.”
White Ribbons have been tied on the town centre lampposts, the White Ribbon flag is flying on the Town Hall, and there is a campaign including radio, social media posts and videos of Ambassadors and young people talking about the importance of everyone seeking to #ChangeTheStory by calling out sexism, harassment and abuse.
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 as White Ribbon organisations, please contact the team via email@example.com and a member of the White Ribbon Group will be pleased to talk to you about the process.
(For support in Cheshire East with Sexual or Domestic Violence call 0300 123 5101.)