Council prepares for 16 days of action to support White Ribbon Campaign
We will not stay silent about domestic abuse.
That’s the message from Bridgend County Borough Council as it prepares for 16 days of action to support the White Ribbon Campaign.
At 11.45am on Tuesday 25 November, the council will raise the White Ribbon flag above its Civic Offices to show its support for the movement, which is led by men who oppose violence against women.
Ospreys rugby stars Joe Bearman and Ryan Bevington will join White Ribbon ambassador Lee Jukes, councillors and representatives from the police, fire service, health sector and domestic abuse charities for the event, which the council will observe annually on White Ribbon Day.
Once the flag has been raised, a minute’s silence will be held in memory of domestic abuse victims whose lives have been taken from them by partners, family members, or through gender-based violence.
All male attendees will be invited to sign the White Ribbon Pledge, never to condone, commit or remain silent about violence and abuse against women.
And, in recognition of their continued support for the campaign, nine partner organisations – including Bridgend Women’s Aid, South Wales Police and Hafan Cymru – will be presented with certificates to show that they have gained White Ribbon Supporter status.
Councillor Marlene Thomas, Bridgend County Borough Council’s Domestic Abuse Champion, said: “All domestic abuse is a disgrace. It blights the lives of victims, families, children and loved ones, and many people suffer in silence because they are afraid to report it.
“By flying the White Ribbon flag every 25th of November, we are making a pledge that we will not stay quiet – we are here to listen, we are here to support, we are here to help.
“Together with our partners, we will continue working tirelessly to support victims and make sure perpetrators are brought to justice.”
To mark the occasion, a number of displays and information stands will be shown inside the reception area of the Civic Offices, including White Ribbon banners, a Christmas tree with messages from survivors, a t-shirt washing line decorated by Bryntirion Comprehensive School pupils, and a White Ribbon ‘These hands are not for hurting’ banner, which has been decorated by Caerau Primary School pupils.
Next Tuesday’s event will also coincide with a number of other awareness-raising initiatives which are taking place across the county borough in November and December.
Council Leader Mel Nott added: “This will be the first year that the council has had the honour of raising the White Ribbon flag above its Civic Offices, and we know how much of a privilege it is to do so.
“We are delighted to be marking this occasion with our partners, who have all worked hard to help make Bridgend a White Ribbon Town, and we hope that this relationship will continue to strengthen and grow as we move forward and tackle domestic abuse together.”
On Thursday 20 and Wednesday 26 November, representatives from Victim Support and Bridgend Women’s Aid will be on hand to provide information about domestic abuse at Tesco’s on Cowbridge Road and the Princess of Wales Hospital respectively, between 9.30am and 1.30pm.
Throughout the month, domestic abuse beer mats will be sent to national Pub Watch (pilot licensed premises) members along with polycarb White Ribbon glasses. Participating pubs will also receive domestic abuse awareness-raising sessions.
For more information on the White Ribbon Campaign, visit www.whiteribboncampaign.co.uk.
If you are suffering from abuse, you don’t have to suffer in silence – call Bridgend Women’s Aid on 01656 766139; Victim Support on 08456 121 900, or Hafan Cymru on 01639 622 353.
You can also call the All Wales Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence helpline on 08088 010 800.
In an emergency, dial 999 and ask for the police, or 101 for non-emergencies.