Representatives of public services organisations across Monmouthshire gathered in Usk today (27th November) to raise awareness of the devastating and far reaching effects of violence against women. The event was organised in conjunction with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, also known as White Ribbon Day, on 25th November.
The White Ribbon Campaign was created in direct support of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women to encourage men to actively oppose violence to women and girls by pledging their backing and wearing a white ribbon. It is led by men who are willing to take a stand and be positive role models to other men in the community.
Among those present were representatives from the South Wales Fire & Rescue Service, the Welsh Ambulance Service, Gwent Police and Monmouthshire County Council, with a selection of their organisations’ vehicles. Accompanying them were Chief Fire Officer Huw Jakeway of the South Wales Fire & Rescue Service, Chief Inspector David Morgan of Gwent Police and Councillor Peter Fox, the Leader of Monmouthshire County Council. All lent support to the campaign by displaying written declarations stating why they wanted to end men’s violence against women and by wearing a white ribbon.
The White Ribbon Campaign focuses on the belief that change will only occur when men accept their responsibility to make changes. It offers an opportunity for those men who care about the women in their lives to take responsibility to ensure that women live free from violence and fear. Traditionally, the burden of working towards ending male violence against women has fallen almost entirely on women.
Councillor Sara Jones, Monmouthshire’s cabinet member with responsibility for equalities said: “I was very impressed by today’s demonstration of support which sends a loud and clear message that violence to women and girls is unacceptable and there is no place for it in twenty-first century society. We call upon everyone – men and women – to make a stand and speak out about this”.
Geoffrey Williams of Abergavenny, an emergency medical technician for the Welsh Ambulance Service based in Monmouth added: “Men who attack women are bullies and cowards.”
In response to the campaign over 350 Monmouthshire County Council vehicles have been branded with the White Ribbon logo as a constant reminder of the important work to end violence against women in society.