Council Motion: Domestic Violence and the White Ribbon Campaign

Throughout the recent delayed Euro 2020 tournament, we saw a wider and better understanding of the link between national teams playing and incidences of domestic violence. The White Ribbon campaign is at the forefront of campaigning to both end domestic violence and change attitudes to ensure that not only the act but any and all attitudes that condone domestic violence are eradicated. This motion, originally from Stockport, highlights their work and how councils can support them.

This Council Meeting notes that

  • ONS figures show that almost one in three women aged 16-59 will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime, that two women a week in England and Wales are killed by a current or former partner, that over half a million women are raped or sexually assaulted each year and that a YouGov poll shows that a third of girls have experienced sexual harassment in schools;
  • the global pandemic has led to more women and girls being vulnerable to domestic abuse and, according to a BBC news report last July, the initial three months of the first national lockdown saw an 80% increase in calls to the National Domestic Abuse Hotline;
  • that, according to crime-survey and other government data, victims disproportionately come from those groups which already experience inequality and additional challenges in our society, including those who are mixed-race, have disabilities, or are transgender; and
  • as we reflect on the end of the delayed EUFA Euro 2020 tournament, previous research by Lancaster University showed that reported domestic abuse incidents increase whenever any of the home nations play in a major tournament, and the effect is particularly large on the days when those teams lose.

This Council Meeting further notes that

  • White Ribbon UK is the leading charity with a mission to end male violence against women and part of the global White Ribbon movement which arose from a campaign started by men in Canada in 2004;
  • they mark White Ribbon Day annually on 25th November, the International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women, by encouraging men and boys to pledge never to take part in, condone or stay silent about violence against women and to make this by wearing a white ribbon on the day and a week or two afterwards; and
  • White Ribbon UK operate a system of male Ambassadors, female Champions and Youth Advocates, as well as having specific materials to support primary and secondary schools, all with the aim of encouraging men to take the pledge and help to eradicate male violence against women.

This Council Meeting believes male violence against women can never be condoned and [AREA] Council should do everything in its power to ensure women are safe.  As part of this, the council should facilitate and encourage participation by councillors, staff and schools in the White Ribbon Campaign.

This Council Meeting therefore resolves to

  • encourage all male Councillors to take the White Ribbon pledge, never to take part in, condone or stay silent about violence against women;
  • undertake as soon as practicable the steps necessary to achieve White Ribbon accreditation, joining the large number of public sector bodies which have already done so; and
  • as part of this, appoint a male Councillor as an Ambassador; mark White Ribbon Day on 25th November each year with a fundraising event; and encourage participation among council staff and local primary and secondary schools.

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