The Chief Executives of Dumfries and Galloway Council and NHS Dumfries and Galloway have been appointed the role of White Ribbon Ambassadors for Dumfries and Galloway by White Ribbon Scotland to support the development of the Dumfries and Galloway White Ribbon Campaign (DGWRC).
The DGWRC is coordinated by the new local White Ribbon Steering Group with the aim of raising awareness of all forms of gender-based violence and violence against women and girls, their effect on women and girls – and society in general. The DGWRC will continue to encourage people to act against all forms of gender-based violence and to challenge the thought systems, norms, attitudes, values and beliefs that underpin forms of violence. This will be achieved by recruiting and training White Ribbon Speakers who will deliver awareness raising talks throughout the region.
People can take part in the DGWRC in different ways. You can wear a White Ribbon and sign the WR Pledge to never commit, condone, or remain silent about any form of violence against women or girls; you can become a WR Speaker and deliver WR Talks – training is provided free of charge; or you can become WR Champions and support the development of the campaign in the workplaces, clubs, or places of worship.
For more information about the D&GWRC, please email: [email protected]
Dawn Roberts, Chief Executive of Dumfries and Galloway Council said: “Violence against women and girls is a world pandemic affecting all parts of our society including Dumfries and Galloway. It is important that we continue to work together at service, community and personal levels to help stop this violence and abuse from happening. The Dumfries and Galloway White Ribbon Campaign gives us an opportunity to continue to work towards culture change by influencing the attitudes, values, and beliefs that encourage sexism and violence against women to thrive. I would like to take the opportunity to encourage Dumfries and Galloway Council staff to support the campaign and where possible, train as White Ribbon Speakers and help us raise awareness.
“Working together we can challenge violence against women and girls in Dumfries and Galloway.”
NHS Dumfries and Galloway Chief Executive Jeff Ace added: “Our ambition must be to completely stop violence against women and girls in Dumfries and Galloway. The Dumfries and Galloway White Ribbon initiative gives us the best chance of working across agencies to eliminate this violence, and the behaviours that can create it. We need to listen to the voices of women and girls and coordinate action to address their concerns.”
“In NHS D&G we have a largely female workforce and I know that colleagues will join me in supporting this campaign to make rapid and substantial improvement.”
Rebekah Cheung, White Ribbon Scotland Project Coordinator said: “We’re really pleased with the commitment that Dumfries and Galloway have shown towards eliminating violence against women through the status project that they have undertaken with us. It’s also great to see how much senior buy-in the project has received, which is essential for effective and sustainable work to combat gender-based violence.”
The White Ribbon Campaign (WRC) is an international movement to end men’s violence against women and girls. It started in Canada in November 1991 as a response to the massacre of female students at the École Polytechnique in 1989 and is now in over 70 countries around the world.
The DGWRC is part of the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) prevention work of the Dumfries and Galloway VAWG Subcommittee that aims to tackle all forms of VAWG i.e. Domestic Abuse, Rape and Sexual Assault, Commercial Sexual Exploitation, Harmful Traditional Practices, Sexual Harassment, and Stalking.
The new local White Ribbon Steering Group that will direct and support the local campaign is Chaired by Police Superintendent John Cairns and the Vice-chair is Dumfries Prison Governor Andy Hunstone. Members of the Steering Group include Representatives from Queen of the South FC, Fire Service, Education Service, Social Work, Public Protection, Developing the Young Workforce – DYWF, Youth Work, NHSD&G, and Health and Social Care Partnership. The Steering Group is also supported by a VAWG Advisory Group that comprises the Community Justice Partnership Manager, the VAWG Coordinator, and the VAWG Research and Information Officer from Public Protection.