Wyre Forest District Council is backing a global campaign to raise awareness of male violence against women and girls.White Ribbon Ian Hilary Linda

Sixteen Days of Action starts on Monday 25 November, the International Day for the elimination of violence against Women and will run through until Human Rights Day on Monday 16 December.

During the campaign the council, which has been awarded White Ribbon Status, is encouraging residents to sign the White Ribbon pledge and speak out against violence and abuse.

Wyre Forest District Council has pledged its support to the campaign and its Safer Wyre Forest team is coordinating local plans that will involve working with schools and organisations to raise awareness of what domestic abuse is and what help is available.

White Ribbon Day on Monday 25 November will mark the start of the initiative and people are urged to wear a white ribbon to show their support to ending domestic abuse.  Anyone over the age of 14 can pledge their support by making the promise online. 

This year the campaign is asking people to pledge their support online at https://www.whiteribbon.org.uk/promise.

Figures from West Mercia Police show that across North Worcestershire between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019, 3,638 offences were recorded that involved an element of domestic abuse; 72% of victims were female and 76% of suspects were male.  We recognise that men can be victims too, although in lower numbers and so we are also promoting a male helpline.

Research suggests this is just the tip of the iceberg - with victims only likely to report problems after an average of 35 incidents of abuse.

During the campaign there will be regular updates on Twitter and Facebook, information will be sent to parents of local schoolchildren, Wyre Forest Community Ambassadors will be raising awareness in their high schools, teachers will be available and there will be special workshops for councillors and information displays in council buildings.

The campaign promotes two free helplines where people affected by domestic abuse can get confidential advice and support. There’s a dedicated number for women (24 hr),  0800 980 3331 and another for men 0800 014 9082.

Please support the campaign by wearing a White Ribbon, available locally at Wyre Forest House, The Hub at Green Street, Community Housing Group offices and 10.32 Children’s Centres.

Linda Draycott, Corporate Director Community Wellbeing and Environment said: “We hope as many people as possible in Wyre Forest wear a white ribbon, not only on 25 November, but throughout the 16 days of action.  I would encourage everyone, but especially men, to take the pledge and help put an end to the threats, intimidation and violence women and girls face both at home and outside the home often on a daily basis.

“White Ribbon Day and the 16 Days of Action give us a great platform to spread the message that anyone can be affected by domestic or sexual abuse or violence, stalking, harassment and coercive control and that help and support is out there.

“We want to reach as many people as possible to highlight what domestic abuse is and how people who may be suffering in silence can get the help they need.”

For more information about Safer Wyre Forest please visit www.nwcsp.org or follow them on Twitter @saferwyreforest and Facebook.

(Picture shows from left to right: Wyre Forest District Council’s Chief Executive, Ian Miller, Project Officer, Hilary Hollis and Corporate Director Community Wellbeing and Environment, Linda Draycott)