|Jennifer Mein (centre) with White Ribbon Ambassadors from participating organisations.|
Participating councils are: Hyndburn Borough Council, Rossendale Borough Council,
Lancaster City Council, Preston City Council, South Ribble Borough Council,
Borough Council, Ribble Valley Borough Council and Fylde Borough Council.
Organisations from across Lancashire are uniting against violence towards women. Today (25th November) is White Ribbon Day, which marks an international campaign to help stop domestic violence against women.
Lancashire joins a campaign that was launched by a group of men in Canada in 1991 after the mass shooting of 14 female students at the University of Montreal. There are now White Ribbon Campaigns operating in many countries around the world.
While the campaign is aimed at men, women can also support the campaign by choosing to wear a ribbon, and encouraging the men in their lives to support the campaign
The campaign encourages men of all ages to take a pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women, and to make their commitment public by wearing a white ribbon for 16 days. To help make Lancashire the first White Ribbon county, organisations are being called upon to pledge their support.
Leading the way are Lancashire County Council, a number of district councils, Lancashire Police, and the office of the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, who have all committed to become White Ribbon Campaign organisations.
The adoptionof the campaign comes after reports of high-risk domestic abuse in Lancashire have increased steadily over the past three years. The vast majority of these incidents are carried out by men against women, and figures confirm that since April 2009 more than 87% of perpetrators were male.
Jennifer Mein, Leader of Lancashire County Council, said: "I'm very proud that we are working towards becoming the first White Ribbon county by encouraging other major organisations in Lancashire to sign up.
"Ten organisations have already joined us, and it would be an outstanding achievement for all local authorities and public sector organisations to attain White Ribbon Campaign status.
"If men wear a white ribbon, including on a coat or jacket so that it's visible outdoors, it shows a clear commitment to the pri! nciples of the campaign and to becoming a part of the solution to the continuing problem of male violence against women – something that should have no place in our society."
"I am committed to tackling domestic abuse through my role as Police and Crime Commissioner," commented Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw, "and have put funding into raising awareness and supporting services for victims.
"But organisations alone cannot bring an end to violence against women – society needs to ensure this behaviour is seen as totally unacceptable, and condemn those who commit abuse. That is why the White Ribbon campaign is so important, and why it continues to have my full support.
"It is a public condemnation of abuse, and I hope others across Lancashire will join me in pledging their commitment to it."
Chris Green from the White ribbon Campaign organisation said: "Engaging men and boys in m! aking the pledge taps into a fantastic resource to reduce violence and abuse towards women. We fully support the work ongoing in Lancashire and seeing their projects in action and improving the lives of those at risk of violence.
"Increasing the public’s knowledge and understanding of domestic violence will help to guide people who are experiencing domestic abuse to safe and appropriate support."
Men can also show their support for the White Ribbon Day by following @menantiviolence on Twitter or by liking the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/whiteribboncampaign.
White Ribbon Day coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women. For more details visit www.whiteribboncampaign.co.uk.