Urban Echo News 

Bradford backs the White Ribbon campaign

Bradford Council is backing a global campaign to end male violence against women. The council is aiming to become a White Ribbon accredited Local Authority and is working with local businesses and organisations to make Bradford a ‘White Ribbon District’.

Bradford will be marking international White Ribbon Day on November 25, encouraging men and boys to pledge that they will “never commit, condone or remain silent about male violence towards women.”

The Council will become a White Ribbon accredited Local Authority at an event on December 5 and has organised a series of events to raise awareness of the campaign.

Male staff from the council’s Domestic Abuse team will be encouraging a men and boys to ‘make the pledge’ at a stall in the Kirkgate Shopping Centre between 10am and 3pm on White Ribbon Day, November 25.

A presentation raising awareness of the campaign will be shown throughout the day and in the evening on the Big Screen in City Park as well as in leisure centre across the district.

The White Ribbon flag will be flown from the flag poles in front of City Hall between 25 November and December 5 and white ribbons will be appearing round City Park and in the pedestrian streets in the city centre.

On both the 25 November and 5 December the clock tower on City Hall, the fountains in City Park and the arches leading to Forster Square railway station will be lit up in white to mark White Ribbon Day and the council’s formal accreditation.

This year’s city centre Christmas lights have a special light display which reads ‘love & respect’ in support of the campaign.

The Council has been recruiting male members of staff and councillors to become White Ribbon Ambassadors and encouraging them all to ‘make the pledge.’ All of the most senior male managers at the Council are now White Ribbon Ambassadors. The council has also been raising awareness of the campaign at sports, music and community events and in schools.

The council will be formally accredited at an event on 5 December at Bradford’s City Hall. The event will celebrate the Council accreditation and highlight the work of partners West Yorkshire Police, Bradford College and Oasis Academy. The key note speaker is former Chief Crown Prosecutor Nazir Afsal OBE.

The event will also highlight the scale of abuse suffered by women in district and encourage businesses, members of the public and community sector leaders to act to reduce male violence towards women.

West Yorkshire Police deal with four incidents of domestic abuse every hour – over 45,000 recorded incidents in 2015-16 – yet on average victims do not report it until the 35th incident.

Nationally, approximately 1 in 5 children have witnessed domestic violence and 130,000 live in households with high risk domestic abuse. Children exposed to domestic violence are more likely to have emotional and behavioural problems and domestic abuse features in over half of all serious case reviews of children who die or are seriously injured through abuse or neglect.

Coun Abdul Jabar, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety, said: “The message from the White Ribbon campaign to “never commit, condone or remain silent about male violence towards women” is an important one. We hope by Bradford Council supporting this campaign we can play our part in bringing about really change in our society.”

Chris Green, OBE, from the White Ribbon campaign said: “Bradford’s partnership working to mobilise the whole community leads the field. Some men listen better when the message of respect and challenging harassment comes from other men, so it is the responsibility of all men to call out to our friends, relatives and workmates to prevent harassment. We will make Bradford free from harassment and violence against women and girls.”

For more information about the White Ribbon campaign and to make your pledge “never to commit, condone or remain silent about male violence towards women” visit www.whiteribbon.org.uk

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