Each year thousands of men and women stand up, speak out and say no to violence against women and girls. Earlier this year, after hearing that reports of domestic abuse increased by 30% in 2018/19, Newcastle City Council unanimously passed a motion that not only saw White Ribbon Day become part of the civic calendar but commits the council to work towards making Newcastle a White Ribbon City.
This morning councillors from across political parties came together in Newcastle when council Leader Cllr Nick Forbes, was joined by Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Clare Penny-Evans, and the Leader of the Opposition, Cllr Nick Cott, to raise the White Ribbon flag and show support for the campaign that asks men and boys to make a stand against male violence against women and girls.
Later today, the council will also mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which coincides with White Ribbon Day, and launch 16 days of activism against gender-based violence by lighting the Civic Centre orange as part of the United Nations global theme of “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect.”
And with violence, harassment and abuse against women rising significantly during the pandemic, the council is urging residents to show their support by wearing a white ribbon during the 16 days of activism that will run from today until Human Rights Day on 10 December.
The council are also encouraging men and boys in the city to lead the way by signing up to the White Ribbon Campaign’s pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.
Councillor Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council said; “Evidence shows that some men believe that the use of physical, emotional, sexual and other types of violence is an acceptable way of controlling other people.
“We know anyone can be a victim of violence, but recognise that the majority of victims are women and girls. We also know that, in the majority of cases, it is men who are the perpetrators which is why it is so important that men and boys are involved in tackling violence against women and girls.
“Every year men and boys lead the way as thousands of people stand up, speak out and say no to violence against women on White Ribbon Day
“But this issue is more important than just about one day and why, as a council, we are united in our efforts to make Newcastle a White Ribbon City but to make this a reality we will need everyone in our city to show their support.
“I hope everyone will wear a white ribbon throughout the 16 days of activism to show their support. I also want to encourage every man and boy in our city to sign the White Ribbon pledge so, that together, we can eliminate violence against women and girls and build a safer, secure, healthier society for all the residents who live here.”