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UK marks White Ribbon Day

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Men say no to violence against women.

November 25  marked the United Nation’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon said: “Violence against women continues to persist as one of the most heinous, systematic and prevalent human rights abuses in the world.”

“It is a threat to all women, and an obstacle to all our efforts for development, peace, and gender equality in all societies.”

“Violence against women is always a violation of human rights; it is always a crime; and it is always unacceptable. Let us take this issue with the deadly seriousness that it deserves,” he added.

November 25 is also known as White Ribbon Day and is the high point of an international campaign encouraging men and boys to wear white ribbons and commit themselves to taking action to stop violence against women.

The aim is to ensure men take more responsibility for reducing the level of violence against women.

The White Ribbon Campaign was created by men for men, and creates the opportunity for men all around the world to take a stand together against the violence committed by men towards women and girls.

The campaign aims to address and change social norms that lead to violent behaviour against women; involve men in prevention activities; increase awareness of the issue; provide services aimed at reducing the incidence of domestic violence and mobilise entire local communities to end violence against women.

The End Violence Against Women campaign estimates that almost 3 million women in the UK suffer from some form of violence every year.

And research shows domestic violence affects one in four women in their lifetime.

Two women a week are killed by their partners or former partners.

Sussex’s Natalie Brahma-Pearl said, “The white ribbon is considered to be a symbol of hope for a world where women and girls can live free from the fear of violence.”

“Wearing a white ribbon on this day is an opportunity for everyone to show that they do not accept or condone violence against women,” she added.

And across the UK men have been wearing white ribbons and raising awareness of these issues.

Men in West Yorkshire paraded around in high heels for a one-mile walk in support of the UK’s White Ribbon Campaign (WRC).

One of the participators, Reverend Tony Buglass was quite pleased with the outcome of the event.

“The amount of violence against women is frightening and if we can just draw attention to it then that can only be a good thing,” he said.

The new Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Lancashire, Clive Grunshaw, pledged his support to the White Ribbon Campaign and wore a white ribbon during his inaugural speech on November 22.

And in Mansfield District men took the White Ribbon pledge  ‘never to commit, condone or remain silent about men’s violence against women’.

White ribbons were also on display outside all Cheshire Police stations.

Assistant Chief Constable Ruth Purdie said: “Cheshire Police have supported this national campaign for several years because it is an issue which the police deal with all year round − any case of domestic violence is one too many.”

In Norwich a week-long campaign urging victims of domestic violence to speak out and seek support was launched.

Henry Cator, the High Sheriff of Norfolk, said it was vital victims knew where to turn, particularly in rural communities.

“Many people, particularly older people, are virtually imprisoned in their own homes because their partners bully them and prevent them from doing the things they want to do,” he said.

Glasgow has announced its plans for “Sixteen Days of Action to Eliminate Violence Against Women”, which will offer numerous events and talks about violence towards women over the coming weeks.

It is hoped that sufferers of abuse will come forward and seek out help and support rather than remain silent.

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