A council, a fire and rescue service and a police force have been awarded White Ribbon UK accredited status.
Carmarthenshire Council, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Dyfed-Powys Police have all met the standards required to be awarded with the prestigious status.
Achieving White Ribbon UK status shows an organisation’s commitment to The White Ribbon Campaign – the largest global initiative to end male violence against women.
The award is recognition of the work which the three organisations have already undertaken in involving men in speaking out and challenging male violence against women and girls. It is also a reminder of the work that still needs to be done.
Each organisation has Ambassadors, key male figures who have received the White Ribbon training, have made their pledge never to commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women and will encourage other men to take the pledge.
Representatives of the three authorities attended an event on Friday, October 26, to celebrate their accreditation, raise awareness of male violence against women and explore opportunities to work together to tackle the issue.
Assistant Chief Constable Richard Lewis said: “I’m proud to say that I’m an Ambassador for the White Ribbon Campaign. It’s men who are recruited as Ambassadors to take a stand against male violence against women to ensure men are involved in this important conversation, we take responsibility and engage other men to talk about this issue.”
Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said: “It’s been important to me to commission services for victims and survivors of domestic and sexual abuse to ensure they receive support to cope and recover from their experience, reduce the risks to them and improve their safety. This has included the Independent Domestic Abuse Service and Goleudy, a service for victims and witnesses of crime and anti-social behaviour.
“The Independent Domestic Abuse Service supports high risk victims to support them to achieve the best possible outcome through the criminal justice system. Last year, almost 550 victims got this support.
“Goleudy is a specialist service that offers bespoke support to domestic abuse victims assessed as medium risk, as well as victims and witnesses of crime, helping them to recover from their experience.”
Cllr Cefin Campbell, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for Community Safety, said: “Carmarthenshire County Council has supported the White Ribbon campaign for a number of years, but I am very proud that we have achieved White Ribbon UK accredited status this year. By working together with our partners this year, it is hoped the campaign will gain more awareness than in previous years and that anyone being abused is aware of the help and support that is out there for them.
“A number of events and initiatives will be taking place over the 16 Days of Action.
“As a council we will be flying the White Ribbon flag at County Hall and at our town hall buildings in Llanelli and Ammanford to show our support. I also hope that as many people as possible will support the annual Candlelight Walk in Carmarthen which this year takes place on November 22 from 5.15pm outside the Vue cinema in St Catherine’s Walk.”
Rob Quin, Deputy Chief Fire Officer and Director of Service Delivery, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Historically we are a male dominated service and it is good to see so many men from the Fire and Rescue Service signing the pledge to end violence against women. We have a zero tolerance for this behaviour and my wish is that we provide positive male and female role models to serve our communities – and we will be aiming to get all our firefighters to sign up to the pledge.”
Anthea Sully, Chief Executive of White Ribbon UK, said: “One in four women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime, and a similar number will suffer from sexual assault or stalking.
“The majority of these incidents are committed by men; therefore, it is the responsibility of men to work to prevent it.”
Individuals can join over 33,000 others who have signed the White Ribbon UK pledge and get more information on-line at www.whiteribbon.org.uk/pledge.