Partners in the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead are calling on everyone to stand together against male violence, abuse and harassment towards women, as we mark White Ribbon Day and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (Thursday 25 November).
As 16 days of national activism get underway, the Royal Borough, the Dash Charity and other partners are launching a campaign asking everyone in the community, including all men, to make the White Ribbon promise to “never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence towards women”. Visit www.whiteribbon.org.uk/promise
The White Ribbon campaign will also raise awareness on social media of the valuable partnership work in the Royal Borough to help keep both women and men safe, the support available to victims, and the several ways people can report and get help if they are scared, threatened, or abused.
Nationally, it is estimated that one in four women and one in six men experience domestic abuse at some point in their life. Within the Royal Borough, there were 2,824 domestic abuse incidents recorded by police during 2020/21 – an average of eight reports a day.
Councillor Stuart Carroll, cabinet member for Adult Social Care, Children’s Services, Health and Mental Health, said: “We have excellent joint-working and initiatives in the Royal Borough to support community safety, whether in the home or on a night out, and we’re using the platform of White Ribbon Day to shine a spotlight on these over the 16 days.
“These include year-round multi-agency collaboration via the Community Safety Partnership, the council’s own Community Wardens, domestic abuse charity Dash, police operation Project Vigilant, the Windsor Street Angels and the codeword assistance schemes Ask for Angela and Ask for ANI.
“Events of this year have brought to the fore women’s very real experiences and fears of male violence, abuse, harassment, and predatory behaviour.
“As we mark the White Ribbon campaign, it’s clear we all have our part to play in tackling male violence, abuse and harassment towards women, including those in our community who always treat others with equality and respect.
“Let’s continue to lead by example, let’s question abusive attitudes and behaviours in others, let’s call out sexism and let’s all make the White Ribbon promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence towards women.”
Alison Bourne, Chief Executive of the Dash Charity, said: “Dash supports over 1,500 victims of domestic abuse across the Royal Borough each year, but the pandemic has triggered a UK-wide escalation of domestic abuse incidents and we’ve seen referrals to our services soar for both adults and children. We are delighted to partner with the Royal Borough in standing together against violence against women as part of this year’s White Ribbon Day.”
Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, said: “I am determined to ensure that Thames Valley Police have the right focus on domestic abuse, protection of women in public places and the prosecution of rape and sexual assault.
“There are positive initiatives being driving by the police, but we all know there is much work still to be done. However the police cannot tackle this problem on their own and we need to work with other organisations and the public to ensure that women are safer in our society.”
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, support is available 24/7. In an emergency, always call 999. If you can’t speak, call 999 and press 55; please stay on the line, listen to the call handler and answer questions, either by pushing buttons or coughing.
If you don’t want to speak to the police, the National Domestic Abuse Helpline is free and open 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. The Dash Charity helpline – 01753 549865 – is open Monday-Wednesday from 9.30am-2.30pm and Thursday- Friday 9.30am-4pm. All the Royal Borough’s libraries are designated safe spaces for reporting domestic abuse.