Torbay Council and a range of partners have become part of a national campaign to end men’s violence against women and girls.

White Ribbon is a male led campaign which originated in Canada in 1991. It is now active in more than 60 countries including here in the UK where it was launched in 2007.

By obtaining White Ribbon Accreditation this year, Torbay Council has become part of the national campaign. This includes arranging local events to promote the campaign and encourage men and boys from all walks of life and of all ages to make a stand against violence towards women and girls. It is hoped that local businesses will obtain their own accreditation.

Elected Mayor, Gordon Oliver, said: “I am pleased that as a council we have gained this accreditation, and are part of a national campaign to end male violence against women. We are the first organisation in the South West to receive this accreditation, which shows we are committed to tackling this issue head on. An action plan is in place and we will build on what we have already done, including raise awareness in our local community and taking a stand together against this type of violence.”

Cllr Julien Parrot, Executive Lead for Adults and Children, said “Men and boys have a crucial role to play in creating a culture where male violence, abuse and harassment against women and girls are seen as simply unacceptable. Through this campaign we will support them to take a stand against gender based violence in their workplaces, schools, communities and homes.

“I am proud to have signed up to be one of the White Ribbon Ambassadors here in Torbay as the challenge of bringing an end to abuse against women and girls is something which is very close to my heart and I firmly believe that the only way to start making a difference is to stand up and be counted.”

Along with Cllr Parrott there are five other ambassadors who have put themselves forward to help start the campaign locally. It is hoped other men will want to get proactively involved.  The current ambassadors include:

  • Brian Guntrip, a community Police Sergeant
  • Juan Hernandez, the Contract Manager at TOR2
  • Kevin Dixon from Healthwatch
  • Rev Roger Carlton
  • Jason Preece, Torbay Council’s Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Coordinator
  • Jim Parker, Associate Editor of the Herald Express
  • David Parsons, Community Safety, Torbay Council

Fee Scott, Chief Executive Officer of Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services commented, “I’m delighted that Torbay has been awarded White Ribbon status and that men are stepping up to send out the strong messages needed about ending male violence against women. One of the most common things women who use our services say is that they are tired of continually fighting for their rights and so it is wholly right that men step up and take the lead in these areas. For so long, sexual and domestic violence have been seen as ‘women’s issues’ when actually, they are men’s issues and whole society issues and so I’m proud of our ambassadors in Torbay leading the way to try and effect cultural changes”

To further explain the significance of introducing the campaign and the impact of domestic abuse and sexual violence (DASV) within Torbay, Jason Preece, Torbay Council’s Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Coordinator said “The statistics show that the incidents of DASV are increasing year on year, not just in Torbay, but nationally and indeed globally. During the period April 2017 to March 2018 there were 3268 domestic abuse incidents in Torbay.

“We are proud of the progress we have made in the past year with the appointment of a dedicated DASV Co-ordinator and the passing of our well received Domestic Abuse Sexual Violence Strategy for Torbay, but that is just the start and there is much more to do. The impact that DASV has on those experiencing it cannot be underestimated, not just in the short term but over many years.  We now have the momentum needed to work together to make a significant impact on vulnerable people’s lives in the future."

The campaign acknowledges that men are also subject to violence in many different forms and that this is equally unacceptable. However, women are often disproportionately subjected to certain forms of violence simply because of their gender. Examples include sexual violence, slavery, rape, female genital mutilation and domestic abuse.

The UK campaign recruits all year round. For more details on how to apply to become a male ambassador, a female champion or to take the pledge go to www.whiteribboncampaign.co.uk.

If you have been affected by domestic abuse and/or sexual violence, irrespective of your age, gender, sexual orientation or when it happened, support is available locally or nationally.  More information and a directory of services can be found on Torbay’s website dedicated to these issues Are You OK?  Opens in a new window .


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