All five West Yorkshire Councils join the PCC to make a stand against domestic violence with the White Ribbon campaign (31 July 2018)

All five local authorities in West Yorkshire have reaffirmed their commitment to tackling domestic abuse by receiving White Ribbon accreditation status.

It means that Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield Councils have all signed up to the largest global initiative for male violence against women.

One initiative is to appoint volunteer ambassadors to spread the message to more men, and work with sporting clubs and venues to reinforce the ethos of the campaign. To wear a white ribbon is to pledge never to commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.

The development was recognised at an event in Huddersfield (TUE 31 JULY) at the Textile's Centre attended by all five local authorities, West Yorkshire Police (who received their accreditation status in November 2016 to coincide with White Ribbon Day) and White Ribbon.

The event was opened by West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson, who said: "The work to tackle domestic abuse in West Yorkshire is continually growing and improving.

"This event, as well as marking the excellent news that all five local authorities have now received White Ribbon accreditation status, was also about sharing best practice with fellow professionals around issues of coercion and control, impact on children, older people, Honour Based Abuse and Shared Learning from Domestic Homicide Reviews.

"These partnerships are crucial in ensuring we are working collectively with partners to tackle this behaviour and ensure our most vulnerable feel protected and supported.

"We don't want a single person to suffer abuse, whether physical or emotional, and should feel able to come forward and report if they feel they are a victim or have suspicions someone they know is and this joint commitment with West Yorkshire councils and the White Ribbon Campaign shows our intent."

The event was to share best practice with each district holding workshops around a specific area of domestic abuse with the aim to share best practice messages, experience and lessons learned with others.

Topics include lessons from domestic homicide reviews, the effect on children, coercive control, older people and Honour Based Abuse.

White Ribbon Event 31 July - Group PhotoL to R: Supt Marianne Huison (WYP), PCC Mark Burns-Williamson, Cllr Shabir Pandor (Kirklees), Anthea Sully (White Ribbon UK) and Cllr Naheed Mather (Kirklees)

Anthea Sully, Chief Executive, White Ribbon UK, said: "We are delighted to be working with the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner and all five West Yorkshire councils to end male violence against women across the county. When all the authorities of a metropolitan county decide to work together on something this important, it creates massive social change.

"This county-wide relationship represents a strategy that safeguards over two million people. Families, businesses and public services will all benefit from the cumulative effect of a combined authority working towards safer communities, with achievable goals and actions.

"White Ribbon UK is the global campaign to end male violence against women, and we can only do that by working closely with local authorities and communities. We believe that ending this violence is possible, and West Yorkshire's accreditation to the campaign brings us another step closer to doing that."

Coun Abdul Jabar, Bradford Council Executive Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety, said: "We are pleased to continue to support the message from the White Ribbon Campaign to end male violence against women, once and for all. We hope that by Bradford Council supporting the campaign we can play our part in bringing about a real change in our society."

Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council who also chaired the Communities Board last year, said "We are delighted that Kirklees has achieved White Ribbon accreditation, This demonstrates our commitment and action in tackling violence against women and girls, and also to providing support for those affected.

"The event held in Huddersfield was a great success and showed the level of support for White Ribbon across West Yorkshire. We were pleased to host these vital workshops and we are very proud that Kirklees is leading the way in our region."

Cllr Maureen Cummings, Cabinet Member for Environment and Communities at Wakefield Council, said: "We whole-heartedly support the White Ribbon campaign. Unfortunately, domestic abuse is still a big issue in our district, more so than many people may realise. We want to make everyone aware that this kind of behaviour is totally unacceptable.

"We want victims to report incidents and to be aware that support is available to them. We also want to encourage perpetrators to also seek our help and support to change their behaviour."

Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council's executive member for communities said: "We are delighted to see that the dedicated work we have done around one of our key priorities has received prestigious white ribbon status.

"This represents an important opportunity to raise awareness of domestic violence in all its forms and we look forward to working in partnership with other local authorities who have also gained white ribbon status and with the PCC.

"Together we will ensure this remains a priority for all of us and we can continue to send a strong message that will not accept domestic violence in any form in Leeds."

For help and advice visit: www.wakefield.gov.uk/domesticabuse

To report domestic abuse and to find out more visit www.westyorkshire.police.uk/domesticabuse, in an emergency, always call 999.

To find out more about The White Ribbon Campaign visit https://www.whiteribbon.org.uk/

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2018